Candidates invited to NAACP forum on Thursday

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Candidates competing for office in Pike County will be available to answer residents’ questions Thursday at the NAACP’s “Meet the Candidates” forum held at the Pike County Courthouse.

Gwen Bean, president of the Pike County branch of the NAACP, said the intent of the forum is to allow voters to be more informed about candidate stance instead of voting purely based on name recognition and campaign materials.

“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.”

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The forum, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, will be divided into segments focused on each race.

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.

The most hotly contested positions are for the mayoral seat in Brundidge and the District 1 council seat in Troy. Six candidates are in the running for mayor of Brundidge and five are hoping to fill the District 1 seat.

The mayoral race in Troy is another race in contention, as incumbent Jason Reeves will face challengers Olanda Hardy and Raymond Sexton. There are three candidates in completion for Brundidge’s District 5 seat, two for the District 4 seat, and two for Troy’s District 5 seat.

The majority of the candidates that could be reached for comment said that they are planning to attend.

If all of the candidates that are competing for spots in Troy and Brundidge show up at the forum Thursday, there will be 21 candidates total with the possibility of unopposed candidates attending as well.