ELIZABETHTOWN — For the first time in at least nine years, the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a candidate’s forum prior to the No. 8 general election.
The event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Building, located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown.
“Robin Summerlin and I were talking recently and we thought it would be a good idea for the Chamber to do, since we are a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization,” said Dawn Maynard, executive director of the Chamber. “Plus, this is a pretty big election locally with a lot of interest.”
Despite the county-wide interest in the local races, Maynard said she is hoping to keep the forum as non-controversial as possible.
“We don’t want anyone getting angry with the Chamber of with each other,” she said. “We just want the public to be able to come out and hear what the candidates have to say about the local issues.”
To that end, Maynard said the questions will be predetermined and the candidates will not be addressing each other. Former Chamber President Charlotte Smith will act as the forum moderator and be tasked with asking the questions only. There will also be no questions allowed from the audience.
The forum will be highlighting the contested races at the county level, including the at-large county commissioners candidates, the District 3 county commissioners candidates and the District 3 Board of Education candidates. Each candidate will have 2 to 3 minutes for an opening statement.
“We are even hoping that those candidates who may not have any competition will still come out and participate,” Maynard said.
“Just as importantly will be the turnout from the community,” she added. “We are hoping there will be a good turnout.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.