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Candidates should step up to Stump

With the general election less than a month away, it’s time for candidates in Pike County to step it up.

And several are doing just that by agreeing to participate in Stump ‘08. The political forum, hosted by Pike County Chamber of Commerce along with The Messenger, WTBF and Troy Cable/Channel 52, begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Swindall RV Park.

State Rep. Jay Love and a representative of Bobby Bright’s campaign will attend the debate, giving locals a first-hand look at the platforms of the two men seeking to represent the 2nd Congressional District.

As of Tuesday afternoon, six of the nine county commission candidates had committed to attend: Kathleen Forbish, Sherrill Calhoun and incumbent Jimmy Barron, all of District 3; Charlie Harris, District 5 incumbent; District 4 candidate Brian Floyd; and District 6 candidate Oren Fanin.

Karen Berry, a candidate for District 6, said she cannot attend due to work obligations.

Two others – District 4 incumbent Ray Goodson and District 5 candidate Jeffrey Baker – would not commit to attend.

If you see those six candidates listed first, take a moment today to tell them “thanks,” whether you support their candidacy or not.

These folks are making a concerted effort to reach out to the voters of Pike County through this public forum, which also will be aired live on Channel 52 and WTBF. They realize this is an invaluable opportunity to reach thousands of voters through a single event and, more important, a chance to put their platforms up against that of their opponents, for voters to evaluate. It is democracy at its best. And, much like the presidential debates on a broader scale, the Stump forum is an important part of the process of selecting qualified and capable leaders to govern in our community.

So join us at 7 p.m. Thursday so you can learn more about the folks who want to lead our county. The event is free and open to the public.