Forum to intro array of candidates

by Cristin Parker

Local Republicans want to make sure Cherokee County voters have the critical, need-to-know information necessary to cast their votes in several local primary elections.

The Cherokee County Republican Party executive committee, the Cherokee County Republican Women’s Club and the Cherokee County Republican Club are co-hosting a political forum at 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Buckner Chapel at Jacksonville College, 105 BJ Albritton Drive, Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville College has graciously provided Buckner Chapel for this forum,” event co-organizer Ted Wheeler said. “The school is not endorsing any candidate.”

Forum moderator will be Cherokeean Herald Publisher Josie Fox.

“I’m pleased to be a part of this event,” Fox said. “Traditionally, local elections in don’t generate the voter interest the presidential elections do, which is a shame, because our local elected officials are the ones who have a direct impact on our day-to-day lives.

“It’s important for voters to educate themselves on their elected officials on all levels, not just at the national level.”

Wheeler said the forum will present all the Republican candidates who are running in the Republican primary elections: five Cherokee County sheriff candidates; three Cherokee County tax assessor/collector candidates; two Cherokee County Precinct 1 commissioner candidates; and two Cherokee County Republican party chair candidates. There will be no state or federal candidates featured in the forum.

“In two of these races – for sheriff and tax assessor/collector – the incumbents are retiring, so we’re going to see new people in those seats,” Wheeler said. “We want to give voters an opportunity to hear each candidate speak and answer questions in their own voice, so voters can form their own impressions of whether or not a candidate is right for the office they’re seeking.

“Every Cherokee County voter is invited to attend – you don’t have to be a Republican. Everyone is encouraged to attend.”

Forum officials set up a website to solicit questions for the candidates from the general public.

The website was operational for the last three weeks (and has since been shut down).

“Some of the questions we received were very specific as to an issue a citizen is having and some were more general,” Wheeler said. “We compiled our questions to be more general.”

Wheeler said each candidate will be asked the same three questions, which were provided to them prior to the forum because “we want well thought out answers,” Wheeler said.

The Cherokeean Herald will be livestreaming the forum on its Facebook page.