October 1, 2014

League of Women Voters plans four candidate forums

In preparation for the upcoming Nov. 4 election, the Voter Service Team of the League of Women Voters of Dare has planned four candidate forums.  

There will be one forum each for candidates in the races for the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives and for judicial and law enforcement officials and two forums for candidates for the Dare County Board of Commissioners, including one on Hatteras Island.

The League-sponsored debates/forums are governed by the League’s own non-partisan policy.  All leagues bear the responsibility of safeguarding this policy and the organization’s non-partisan reputation.  Particularly at the federal level, if one candidate is unable to attend, leaving the debate/forum in an “empty chair” debate, the debate should be canceled.

The Board of Directors of the LWV Dare has therefore canceled the meeting of the national candidates, complying with LWV guidelines, since one of the candidates was unable to attend. 

The LWV Dare has been conducting candidate forums since 1988, providing an opportunity for the public to become more informed about the issues and the candidates running for office.  As in the past, each forum follows the LWV format, with an impartial moderator, and questions posed from the audience, after an introductory statement by each candidate.

Those questions are first submitted in written form and must be legibly signed so that LWV members may review the questions for subject matter, clarity, relevance and also to avoid repetition.  The questioner will then step, when called, to the podium for posing the question. A time limit of usually two minutes is allowed for each answer.  Finally, the candidates will each be given time for closing remarks.

The forums are:

  • The first of the four forums for the N.C. Senate and House candidates will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19, at Nags Head Elementary School, from 4 to 6 p.m.  The candidates for state Senate, District 1 are Bill Cook and Stan M. White.  Candidates for the state House of Representatives, District 6 are  Paul Tine, and Mattie Lawson.
  • The Dare County Commissioners’ forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, from 7 to 9 p.m.  This forum will be broadcast on Channel 191 with the dates and  time yet to be announced.  The candidates are: Jack Shea and Bobby Culpepper, at-large seat;  Margarette Midgett Umphlett and Virginia Simmons Tillett, District 1; Beverly Gwyn Boswell and Max Dutton, District 2, and Wally Overman and Sandy Semans Ross, also for District 1.
  • A second forum for the Dare County Commissioners will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Fessenden Center in Buxton from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • The forum for judicial and law enforcement officials has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Nags Head Commissioner’s Conference Room, from 7 to 9 p.m.  Candidates for District Attorney, District 1 are  R. Andrew Womble and Nancy Lamb.  The candidates for Dare County Clerk of Superior Court  are  Dean M. Tolson and Chrissy DeGabrielle Simmons. The candidates for Dare County Sheriff are J.D (Doug) Doughtie and Terry Balance.

The LWV urges candidates to conduct fair, issue-oriented campaigns.  The LWV believes that negative tactics have eroded voter confidence in candidates and in government, and have reduced the ability of elected officials to govern in an effective and cooperative manner.

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