WDN candidates forum is tonight

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Staff Writer

The Washington Daily News Candidates Forum begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Beaufort County Community College auditorium.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Invited to appear onstage are all candidates for Beaufort County commissioner and a District Court seat in the 2nd Judicial District.
Local candidates who aren’t set to be onstage may post themselves out front from 6:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. in order to greet the public.
The Beaufort-Hyde News is assisting with the forum. All other local media are welcome to attend.
All of the featured candidates have either confirmed they will attend or have said they will send a representative if they are unable to be there.
The Beaufort County commissioner candidates scheduled to be represented onstage are:
• Jerry Evans, Democrat;
• Ed Booth, Democrat (incumbent);
• Darwin Woolard, Democrat;
• Sonya Shamseldin, Democrat;
• Stan Deatherage, Republican (incumbent);
• Buddy Harrell, Republican;
• Al Klemm, Republican (incumbent);
• Tony “T.J.” Keech Jr., Republican;
• Cindy Baldwin, Republican;
• Bertie Arnhols, unaffiliated.
The judicial candidates are:
• Watsi Sutton;
• Sonia Privette;
• Jonathan Jones;
• Darrell Cayton Jr.
The judicial races are nonpartisan.
Audience members who wish to submit questions for the candidates may write down their queries before entering the forum. Pens and slips of paper will be provided at the door. The questions will be collected by volunteers, who will submit them to the moderator.
Because of time constraints and the number of candidates involved, no questions will be taken directly from the audience.
Audience questions will be accepted in writing until 6:50 p.m.
Personal attacks or questions for single candidates are not allowed. The questions must be broad and fair enough to apply to all of the candidates onstage.
The forum is tightly timed, partly because there could be 10 commissioner candidates present and the auditorium is reserved for a limited period.
The questions that pass the criteria will be selected at random by moderator Kellie Harris Hopkins. The questions will be drawn from a bucket; inappropriate questions will be discarded upon receipt.
Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director, will ask all questions from the audience as well as questions crafted by the Daily News’ newsroom staff.
Hopkins has presided over many forums for varied groups, including the Daily News.
“I think it provides an opportunity for the voters to see something other than what the candidates script,” she said. “This particular forum will be different because it’s the first time we’ve had a judicial forum.”
For more information about the forum, call 940-4210.