Public invited to candidate forum on Tuesday

Published 6:39 pm Thursday, October 6, 2016

The November election is a month away and voters are invited to get to know their candidates at a public forum Tuesday night.

The Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and its Young Professionals group has teamed up with the Washington Daily News to host the Beaufort County Candidate Forum for the third time in six years.

The public is invited to attend the event in the Building 8 auditorium at Beaufort County Community College.

“We wanted to make sure, before people voted, that they got to know the candidates a little bit and what they stand for and what platform they’re running on, so they can make an educated decision,” said Catherine Glover, executive director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

All candidates in races for North Carolina Senate District 1, N.C. House of Representatives District 6, N.C. House District 3, Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and Beaufort County Board of Education have been invited to participate, Glover said.

Young Professionals member Stuart O’Neal will moderate the forum, where each candidate will be given time to introduce themselves, then asked a series of questions directed at all candidates for the office.

Audience members are asked to contribute, as well, by contributing their own questions prior to the event’s start.

Those invited to attend the forum are: incumbent Republican Bill Cook and Democrat Brownie Futrell, both running for Senate District 1, which includes Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Gates counties; Democrat Warren Judge and Republican Beverly Boswell, running for House District 6, which includes part of Beaufort County and all of Dare, Hyde and Washington counties; incumbent Republican Michael Speciale and Democrat Marva Fisher Baldwin, running for House District 3, which includes parts of Beaufort and Craven counties and all of Pamlico County. The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners candidates include incumbents Robert Belcher and Jerry Langley, and Greg Satterthwaite are running on the Democratic ticket; Jerry Evans and Derik Davis, and incumbents Gary Brinn, Hood Richardson, on the Republican ticket.

Beaufort County Board of Education members Eltha Booth (District 1), Barbara Boyd-Williams (District 3), F. Mac Hodges, (District 5), Carolyn S. Walker (District 7) and Mike Isbell (District 9) are seeking re-election. Terry W. Draper is a candidate for the District 9 seat on the school board, which is nonpartisan. Hodges faces challenges from Kate A. Phelps and David Daniel for the District 5 seat on the nine-member board. BOE candidate participation will be limited to three minutes per candidate to introduce themselves and their platforms to the audience, Glover said.

Glover said past forums have been very well attended.

“When we did it two years ago, Building 8 was packed,” Glover said. “There weren’t too many seats available, so usually we have a really good turnout.”

The forum will take place at 6 p.m. Beaufort County Community College is located at 5337 U.S. Highway 264 East, Washington.