Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Dems, Reps come together to host city election debate

Colleton’s two opposing political parties are coming together to host a joint candidate forum for the upcoming Walterboro City Council election.
Walterboro’s elected seats on its council are non-partisan, meaning there is no political affiliation with any of the council seats or with the mayoral spot. Because of this, both the Colleton County Democratic Party and the Colleton County Republican Party are coming together to host a politically-neutral candidate forum.
It is the first time in the county’s history that the two political groups are coming together to host a joint event.
The candidate forum will feature those who have officially filed for office. It will be moderated by Miles Crosby, a DJ legend in Colleton County, who was also recently inducted into the Lowcountry Radio Hall of Fame.
The forum is open to the public and is being held on October 29th at 6 p.m. at the Colleton County Memorial Library. As of press deadline, five of the six official candidates for Walterboro City Council have confirmed their appearance in the upcoming forum.
The forum will not feature any write-in candidates.
Each of the candidates for Walterboro City Council will be asked six questions in the debate. The candidates have already been given the questions so they can prepare for the debate in advance, said Deborah Rodriquez, chairwoman of the Colleton County Democratic Party. Rodriquez and Colleton County Republican Party Chairwoman Janis Blocker are working together to construct the candidate forum. The two women created the idea of the debate earlier this year, she said.
According to Rodriquez, 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 would 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. In the past, city council has been more dominant with black elected leaders; however, the presence of women on council has always been lacking, said Rodriquez.
“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.
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.
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. “Anything we can do together, even a service project for the community is healthy. This may be the first of other projects that we do together,” she said, speaking of the Democratic and Republican parties in Colleton County.
The official candidates for Walterboro City Council are Chrissy Johnson, Judy Bridge, Paul Siegel, Ladson Fishburne, Gale Doggette, and Emma Levine.
This newspaper will feature interviews with each candidate in an upcoming issue.

Heather Walters (1583 Posts)