• 52°

Democratic Committee to host candidates forum Monday

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Democratic political candidates running for a multitude of positions will have an opportunity to get their voice out to the public when the Dallas County Democratic Executive Committee hosts the candidates’ forum open to all members of the public on Monday, April 23.

Taking place at the Performing Arts Center, the forum allows local and state candidates to get their message out to the voters. The voters will have the opportunity to learn more about those wishing to represent them before the primaries on June 5.

The forum will come in the form of submitted audience questions given to one of the two moderators, who then forward the question to whichever politician it is addressing. According to Synethia Pettaway, DCDEC chairperson, the two moderators will be Candice Pettaway and Labaron Mack.

Additionally, each candidate will get three minutes for an introductory statement and two minutes for their closing statement.

Candidates are allowed to bring signs, banners, hand-outs and as many supporters as they wish to bring. However, Pettaway makes it clear that the politicians and audience are expected to act respectfully throughout the course of the program.

The forum on Monday will be open for candidates spanning five different offices: State Senate District 23, State House of Representatives District 67, Dallas County Sherriff and Dallas County School Board Districts one and two.

According to Pettaway, the forum allows candidates to be chosen on their merit and goals, rather than their likeability. With ample candidates running, such as six people for probate judge, the forum gives a chance for clarity and a level playing field.

“Local elections are just as important as national elections, and it is imperative that they get to know the candidates so they are not just voting for them because they are popular,” Pettaway said. “They need to actually know what they stand for, because right now we are facing some crucial issues for our area.”

Before the forum begins, all candidates are invited to attend a public reception at 5 p.m. This will give each candidate more one-on-one time with the people they would be representing and also makes them more personable to their community.

While they are more than happy to help adequately provide a medium between the pubic and the politicians, the DCDEC is not endorsing any singular candidate.

She also encourages public turnout for this event, understanding the importance of an informed electorate.

“There are issues that have plagued our community that need to be addressed with our voice at the ballot box,” Pettaway said. “We are going to keep working to make things better within our community.

With so many positions and candidates, this will not be the last forum offered to the public. Other agencies will put on forums as the county nears closer to election day, and the DCDEC will be hosting another forum on May 8 for candidates running for Dallas County Probate Judge and Circuit Clerk.

According to Candice Pettaway, they are also in the works for getting a debate set up, but it has not been finalized.

For more information about the DCDEC, go to their Facebook at “Dallas County Democratic Party.”