Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Athens candidates prepare for voter forums


If Athens county voters want answers from their candidates, then they shall receive.

Throughout the next month, voters will have the opportunity to ask questions to their potential state and county representatives in the upcoming League of Women Voters candidate forums. The forums will begin next Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“A forum is not a debate,” said Edward Baum, the forum coordinator for the league. “It is an opportunity to learn the candidates’ view on various issues of concern in our community.”

The Athens County League of Women Voters, with support from the Athens Public Library, offers three candidate forums throughout the month of February for the races between candidates for county engineer, county commissioners and representative of Ohio’s 15th congressional district.

The March 6 primary race for county commissioner boasts the highest number of candidates with seven Democrats running.

Races for both county engineer and the state congressional seat have two Democratic candidates.

The procedures for the forums will vary depending on how many candidates are represented at each, but the core of the evening follows a question and answer format.

To begin, candidates will all be allotted a time to make a personal introductory statement.

Then various media outlets in attendance will then be given time to ask two questions each, each of which every candidate will have 90 seconds to respond.

When the media has finished their questioning, the floor will be open to questions submitted from the public in attendance.

“These questions are checked over beforehand because we don’t want ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ or derogatory questions aimed at specific candidates,” said Baum.

The forums for the March primary involve only democratic candidates because of a lack of Republican showing in Athens County, particularly for the state congressional seat.

“There are so few Republicans in the county it almost isn’t worth their time to campaign here, but if (a candidate) had been from this area we would have done it,” said Baum.

The LWV planned to hold a forum for the candidates of the 94th state congressional district, but one of the two candidates declined the invitation. The LWV decided not to hold the forum to avoid an “empty chair” forum where only a single candidate would be represented, added Baum.

In hotly contested races such as the race for county commissioner, the LWV expects a “full house” of more than 70 people in attendance.

“Each of the seven candidates will bring their own supporters,” said Baum.

Baum added that three different groups of people attend the forums: supporters of the candidates, supporters who are there specifically to ask questions that will bolster the appearance of their candidate, and undecided voters who attend to choose who will receive their ballot. 

Rex Jeffrey Maiden and incumbent Archie Stanley will be the candidates in the county engineer forum to be held on Feb. 16.

The list of Democratic candidates for county commissioner is: Charles R. Adkins, Paul Smoke Barrett, Robert Baughman, Gary Edwards, Chris Shmiel, Mike O'Brien and incumbent Mark Sullivan. The forum for county commissioner will be held on Feb. 21.

The forum for the 15th Congressional District, with candidates Pat Lang and Scott Wharton, will be held on Feb. 28.

All forums begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Athens Public Library, 30 Home St.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH