Elections are June 26 and the first in a series of three candidate forums will be held at Shawnee City Hall tonight.
Candidates for the Shawnee City Commission seat and the Pottawatomie County Commissioner District 1 seat will participate in a forum beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the commission chambers at Shawnee City Hall.
Ed Bolt and Steve Palmer are the city commission candidates, with a winner elected June 26. Both have accepted the invitation to participate this evening.
.There are also two candidates for the County Commissioner seat. Melissa Dennis, the incumbent, and Bill Meek are both are Republicans. Since no Democrats filed, the winner will be elected June 26. Both have accepted the invitation to participate.
The forums are being sponsored by PAVE — the Pottawatomie County Advocates for Voter Education. Ronnye Perry Sharp will serve as moderator.
The group, a successor organization to the League of Women Voters here, have two other forums set this month:
• June 14 — Candidates for Oklahoma House of Representatives Dist. 26 will participate in a forum beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the commission chambers at Shawnee City Hall. PAVE president Marilyn Bradford will serve as moderator.
Democratic candidates are E. Bruce Bushong, Terry W. Hopkins and Lauren Richter. All three have said they will participate. Republican candidates are Lucas Cannon, Dell Kerbs (the incumbent) and Sterling Springer. Cannon and Kerbs have accepted the invitation to participate.
• June 18 — Candidates for Oklahoma State Senate Dist. 28 and House of Representatives Dist. 27 are invited to participate in a forum beginning at 6:30 pm in the council chambers at Tecumseh City Hall. Ronnye Perry Sharp will serve as moderator.
Competing for the State Senate seat are two Republicans, Robert McKinney and the incumbent, Jason Smalley. The winner will be elected since no Democrats filed. Both men have accepted the invitation to participate.
Candidates for House Dist. 27 are all Republicans, so the winner, if he receives a majority of the votes, will be elected. They are Joseph Blanchard, Jason Harris, Dave Spaulding and Danny Sterling. All four have said they will participate in the forum.
The Shawnee City Hall forums will be broadcast live on Vyve channel 3 and streamed for desktop computers at www.ShawneeOk.org/Live. Streaming is also available for iPad users with the UStream app (search for Shawnee).
At each forum, candidates will make brief opening and closing statements, and will answer written questions submitted from the audience and screened for relevance and duplication. Those planning to attend are encouraged to write out their questions in advance to help include as many questions as possible, although cards will be available at the forum so questions can be written there.
“Candidates tell us they prefer participating in a PAVE forum because they know it will be fair, nonpartisan, and well organized,” said Bradford. The format follows that recommended by the League of Women Voters. Bradford also urged anyone interested to join PAVE and help with the forums. If interested leave a message on the PAVE Facebook page.
PAVE is a non-partisan voter education group with several years’ experience hosting forums. All forums are open to the public at no charge.