Tradition will continue this election cycle, although circumstances will dictate a few changes.
In past years the Herald has hosted a live candidate forum–usually prior to November elections. This year, most of the election selection and excitement is during the August 4 primary election.
Therefore, this year the forum will be held Wednesday, July 29, in time for voters to hear the candidates’ views before coasting their ballots August 4.
This year the University of Missouri Extension Service is co-hosting the event wiht the Herald, as it has done off and on over the years. The biggest change, though, is that the forum will be done via Zoom, rather than in person. This is primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements.
Herald editor Mark Evans and Estrella Carmona, county engagement specialist, will serve as co-moderators, posing questions to the candidates from the Progress Sports Center.
The forum will be held in two parts.
At 6 p.m., Republican candidates for District 116 State Representative, incumbent Dale Wright and challenger Bryant Wolfin, will square off.
At 6:30 p.m., county commission candidates will take part.
Both First District and Second District candidates are invited to take part in this segment. For First District County Commissioner, incumbent Randy Bahr and challenger Karen Stuppy are Democratic candidates.
In the Second District race, where incumbent Joe Gettinger opted not to seek another term, there are challengers for both party nominations. On the Democratic side, Tony Ritter and Micah Rousey face each other, while Don Kuehn and Randy Ruzicka face off in the Republican primary.
The co-hosts will alternate questions during both segments. Candidates may participate from home or from an alternate location.
A set number of questions will be developed by the moderators.
However, questions from the public are also welcome. Anyone wishing to ask questions for either the District 116 state seat or the commission races should email them to Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by dropping questions off in writing at the Herald office by Monday, July 27.