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Public urged to attend upcoming city forum

The six candidates for Walterboro City Council will be introduced to city voters and area residents in an upcoming candidate forum, which is being sponsored by both of the county’s political parties.
The official candidates for Walterboro City Council are Chrissy Johnson, Judy Bridge, Paul Siegel, Ladson Fishburne, Gale Doggette, and Emma Levine.
The formal candidate forum is open to the public and will be featuring these candidates. The event will be held on October 29th at 6 p.m. at the Colleton County Memorial Library and is being sponsored by the Colleton County Democratic Party and the Colleton County Republican Party. Despite the two parties who are hosting the event, the forum itself will be politically neutral. This is because the candidates are non-partisan, meaning there are no political ties associated with any of the seats on Walterboro City Council.
With the two political parties coming together to host the event, this is the first time in the county’s history that the two political groups are coming together to host a joint event.
Additionally, the candidate forum is being moderated by Miles Crosby, a DJ, and Colleton County native.
According to Deborah Rodriquez, chairwoman of the Colleton County Democratic Party, each of the candidates running for Walterboro City Council will be asked six questions in the forum.
The forum will not feature any write-in candidates.
Some of the questions that the candidates will be asked are focused on improving the city’s economic development and job recruitment. “Particularly, we want to know how Walterboro City Council members will work together with county leaders to boost jobs,” she said.
Rodriquez also said the questions will focus on how the city can get more diversity on Walterboro City Council. The council consists of six elected council members, plus the mayor. Currently, the elected members are comprised of one woman and five men. All are white.
“When we talk about the candidates’ opinion on bringing more diversity to the city and council, we are talking about all of it: race, gender, economic demographics,” she said.
According to Janis Blocker, chairwoman of the Colleton County Republican Party, members of the audience will also be given a chance to ask questions to the candidates.
The entire forum will run for about one hour and 10 minutes, said Blocker.
The time frame will also allow each candidate to have one minute to speak to the audience.
“We had a great meeting. I wish all Republicans and Democrats could get along this well,” said Blocker, speaking about the meeting between the two parties. In that meeting, members of each party’s executive committees determined the questions and the format.
“This is a community service we are offering,” said Blocker, about the candidate forum.
The Walterboro City Council election is being held on Nov. 5th. Polls open at 7 a.m. and are open until 7 p.m. The election is organized and run by the city’s Election Commission.
This newspaper will feature interviews with each candidate in an upcoming issue.

Heather Walters (1593 Posts)