NAACP “Meet the Candidates” forum is Thursday

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Pike County branch of the NAACP will hold a “Meet the Candidates” forum Thursday at the Pike County Courthouse.

The forum will allow citizens to ask questions of candidates competing in August and November elections in Pike County.

Gwen Bean, president of the local NAACP chapter, said that the forum is being held to help citizens make informed choices when they vote.

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“Normally, there’s a lack of knowledge on the community’s part about a candidate’s platform and positions,” Bean said.

“This forum will provide people the opportunity to listen to what the candidates have to say, so that they can make an informed decision when they go out and vote. The intent is to allow the candidates and the people to interact.”

The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and will be broken into segments focused on individual races.

Citizens will be provided an index card when they arrive at the forum to write down a question, which will then be given to a panel of four or five people that will relay the questions to the candidates.

If all of the candidates show up at the event, it will be a packed forum, with 21 candidates involved in races in Troy and Brundidge. That doesn’t even include candidates like Stephanie Baker, who will be attending the forum even though she is unopposed in the race for Troy’s District 4 seat.

One candidate, Crowe’s owner Robert Jones, voiced his concern that he might not be able to make the event. “I’m planning to go, but it’s going to be hard for me to get away from work,” Jones said.

“We’re really busy around the first of the month.” Jones is running for Troy’s open District 1 seat.

Troy’s three mayoral candidates Jason Reeves, Olanda Hardy and Raymond Sexton all said that they are planning to attend the event.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea for the public to be able to come out and meet the candidates to hear our stances,” Hardy said.

Reeves said that he’s always willing to take the opportunity to meet the public and Sexton said that he is looking forward to it.