Fort Scott area chamber to host candidate forum

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fort Scott, Kan. -- The 2008 general election on Nov.4, reported to be one of the biggest in recent history, is quickly approaching, and so is the last chance for area residents to learn more about candidates running for local offices this fall.

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a public candidates forum that is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Fort Scott Middle School, 1105 E. 12 St. The doors to the event will open at 6 p.m., and audience members will have until the start of the forum to submit questions for candidates to answer.

"This is the big one and the only one for the general election," FSACC President and CEO Vicki Pritchett said. "We think it's very important for people to attend and also vote."

All contested candidates whose names appear on the general election ballot have been invited to attend the forum. A question-and-answer format will be used for the forum, which will also serve as a platform for candidates to talk to voters about their policies and qualifications.

"They will each get an opening statement and then three or four questions, and then a closing statement," Pritchett said. "Audience members are invited to attend and submit questions between 6 and 6:30."

A non-biased, non-partisan panel will screen each question before they are read aloud to each candidate. Local broadcaster Tim McKenney will moderate the forum, which officials are also trying to get televised on the local cable Channel 3, Pritchett said.

The chamber-sponsored candidate forums are also traditionally a time for area residents to discuss issues that affect the region, and listen to each candidate's stance on important topics. All candidates who are vying for local offices have already confirmed their attendance at the forum, Pritchett said.

Area residents who won't be heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4, may participate in advanced voting through Oct. 31 by having a ballot mailed to their residence or by voting in person prior to election day. All advance ballots need to be returned to the County Election Office by the close of polls (7 p.m.) on election day. The Bourbon County Clerk's office began mailing advanced ballots on Wednesday. In-office advance voting begins Monday and continues through noon on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National Ave. Call (620) 223-3800 for more information about advanced voting.

More information about the event is available by contacting the chamber at (620) 223-3566.

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