Grayson candidate forum set for October

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By Staff Reports

INDEPENDENCE — The Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced that a public forum for this year’s Grayson County electoral candidates will be held on Oct. 17 at the 1908 Historic Courthouse in Independence.
This event will allow the public a face-to-face interaction with each the candidates, where they can get a better understanding of the individual values and goals behind the names on this November’s ballot.
Chamber Executive Director Judy Brannock explained that the chamber wants to host more events like these, to foster communication between the candidates and the localities they seek to serve. She encouraged the public to attend in the hopes that they will receive more answers if they look at their choices from a closer perspective.
“It is [the chamber’s] philosophy that an informed voter makes a wise choice ... and it is sometimes very helpful for the person trying to make a decision to not only hear what they have to say, but to see [candidates’] reactions to the questions,” she said.
There are 14 candidates competing for five seats this year, which will make the choice even more difficult for voters. To give citizens enough time to come to an informed decision, the chamber scheduled the event three weeks prior to the Nov. 5 election.
This added window of opportunity will give those in attendance a chance to mull over what they hear, and seek out additional information. “[Voters] need to know the qualifications of these candidates, their platform, and why they are seeking these offices, because an elected official is a servant of the voters,” said Brannock.

Candidates on the ballot in November include:

Board of Supervisors Elk Creek District
• Brenda R. Sutherland - Elk Creek

Board of Supervisors Wilson District
• Katherine B. “Kate” Irwin - Mouth of Wilson
• K. Arnold Peters - Troutdale
• Glen Eddie Rosenbaum - Troutdale

School Board Elk Creek District
• Misty A. Cox Cassell - Independence
• Fred W. Weatherman - Independence

School Board Wilson District
• J. Shannon Holdaway - Mouth of Wilson
• Brian S. Walls - Mouth of Wilson

• Stephanie H. Brewer - Fries
• Paula D. Carrico - Fries
• Robert Kelly Haga - Galax
• Raymond L. “Pete” Hall, Jr. - Independence
• George R. Whitaker - Galax
• Gary R. Wilson - Independence

The forum will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17. Each candidate will give an opening and closing statement, and will hear from a list of prepared questions that pertain to their offices.
At the end of the program, candidates will answer questions from the audience. A panel will screen audience-submitted inquiries, so questions should be asked in a professional manner, and pertain to the office of the candidate they are addressing.
Discussions will be moderated by David Hauslohner. The chamber will provide refreshments. For more information, contact the chamber at (276) 236-2184, or info@twincountychamber.com.