City Council candidates’ debate planned Oct. 29
by The Press and Standard | October 17, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: October 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm
City residents will get a chance to size up the six Walterboro City Council candidates vying for three council posts in the Nov. 5 General Election, a week before the election.
The Colleton County Republican and Democratic organizations have joined forces to conduct a candidate forum in the main meeting room of the Colleton Memorial Library on Tuesday Oct. 29, beginning at 6 p.m.
Colleton County Republican Chairperson Janis Blocker said her Democratic counterpart Deb Rodriguez approached her about jointly co-sponsoring the forum.
Blocker pointed out that two years ago in the last Walterboro municipal election, each party held its own candidate forum for the municipal races.
When Rodriguez brought the idea to Blocker, she passed the idea on to the members of the Colleton County Republican Executive Committee, and they supported the idea of the co-sponsored debate.
The fact that the Walterboro races are non-partisan (the candidates not running as Republicans or Democrats), Blocker explained, was key to forming the partnership. That gave the county’s Republican and Democratic Party leadership “an opportunity to work together as citizens who care about the city.”
Rodriguez said the six candidates whose names appear on the ballot have been contacted and five of the six have already committed to attending the forum.
Rodriguez said the members of the executive committees got together on Oct. 7 to work on the six prepared questions will be submitted to the candidates prior to the forum. “It was a great meeting, everyone was dedicated to putting together a good event.”
The night of the forum, Blocker said, the forum organizers will determine which three of the six questions will be asked during the forum.
The forum, moderated by Miles Crosby, will begin with each candidate having time to tell the audience a little about themselves and their reason for running.
Then the three prepared questions will be posed to each candidate, who will have two minutes to answer.
Prior to the start of the forum, audience members will have an opportunity to write down their own questions. The two party chairpersons will then review those questions and choose three that will be posed to the candidates. They will have one minute to answer the audience questions.
Finally, each candidate will have one minute to make a closing statement.
“I’m excited we can do it together,” Rodriguez said. Giving the voters a chance to see and hear the candidates is important.
Although state and national races tend to get the media attention, Rodriguez said, “A local election is as important, if not more important.”
“We hope to have a good turnout,” Blocker said.