Candidates for District Court judge will espouse their vision for the bench at election forums held next week in Haywood and Jackson County.
“Judges make decisions every day that directly influence people’s lives, yet many voters don’t know where judicial candidates stand on the most important issues of the day,” said Chris Cooper, WCU associate professor of political science and public affairs, and director of the Public Policy Institute. “We want to help voters learn what they need to know about the people who want to represent them in the judiciary.”
Candidates in other local races will be given two-minutes at the mic prior to the judge hopefuls taking the stage. The forums will be sponsored by Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and The Smoky Mountain News. The two forums are:
• 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Western Carolina University Multipurpose Room of A.K. Hinds University Center.
• 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Haywood Community College auditorium.
A reception will be held from 6:30 to 7 p.m. where voters can talk informally with the candidates for judge and other local offices. The formal portion of the forum will begin at 7 p.m. Local candidates who attend — county commissioner, school board, sheriff, and state representative or senate candidates — will get two minutes each to introduce themselves and discuss their platforms.
Todd Collins, WCU assistant professor of political science and public affairs, will serve as moderator of the forum with the judicial candidates. Questions will be developed prior to the forum, but audience participation will be allowed as time permits.