Henderson Chamber to host candidates debate Thursday | Politics
Candidates in local city commission, school board and state representative races will face-off beginning 6 p.m. Thursday night, Oct. 25, at the Henderson County High School Auditorium in a series of debates hosted by the Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.
The evening will begin with 5th District School Board candidates Mike Waller and Jennifer Keach, followed by District 11 State Representative candidates Dr. David Watkins and Paul DeSpain. District 7 State Representative incumbent Dr. John Arnold will not attend the debates due to a scheduling conflict, but challenger Tim Klein will be on-hand to make a statement and perhaps take questions. After a short intermission, the last half of the program will be devoted to the race for Henderson City Commission, which has eight candidates - incumbents Mike Farmer, Robbie Mills, Robert Pruitt and Alan Taylor as well as challengers Tom Davis, Daniel Hancock, Jan Hite and Jesse Johnston IV. The first two debates should last around 25 minutes each, while the city commission debate should last around 55 minutes. The program is scheduled to end around 8 p.m.
Mike Freels, director of the Henderson Regional Campus of Murray State University, will serve as moderator and ask questions of the candidates. A panel consisting of Lin Shannon, a local attorney and the chamber's incoming chairman of the board; David Dixon, editor of The Gleaner; and Lorna Littrell, co-owner of Sunrise Tool & Die, will also have the chance to ask candidates to clarify or elaborate on their answers, or ask new questions.
Each debate will begin with brief opening statements from the candidates, followed by questions developed through input from the chamber's Public Policy Committee, chamber members and the general public. All candidates will have the chance for rebuttal statements.
"We've adopted a format we hope will encourage a lively debate among the candidates," Chamber President Brad Schneider said. "We think it will be a very interesting event for voters in Henderson County. The upcoming election is an important one for our city and our county as a whole, and we want our citizens to be as informed as they can possibly be before they got to the polls."
The debates are free and open to the public. Video of the event will be streamed lived on wsonradio.com and also archived there for later viewing. The debates will also be shown tape-delayed on a Henderson cable local access channel at dates and times that will be announced on Thursday.