Our Communities of Northwest Stokes will be hosting a non-partisan county commissioner forum on Sunday afternoon, April 29, from 3 until 5 p.m. at the Francisco Community Building.
“We originally wanted to do it because we think it’s important for candidates to have a direct understanding of what the community is looking to accomplish and what issues we face,” said Horace Stimson, an active leader in the group and Francisco resident.
Our Communities of Northwest Stokes has invited incumbent Ernest Lankford and challengers Boh Mabe, Rick Morris, Andy Nickelston, Devin Parrish, Andy Stevens, Jamie Yontz, Wayne Barneycastle, Allen Brown and Jamie East, who are vying for three seats in the May 8 primary election. Democrats Greg Collins and Steven Hewett have also been asked to participate even though they will not face the primary.
“When we realized there was no non-partisan forum in the county we felt that it was even more important that we do this,” Stimson said. “I would have to say we’re pretty proud of our neighbors who often have significant differences in politics, but are still dedicated to making sure we’re all informed. We want to know as much as possible about the candidates and we want to be able to elect commissioners who see the potential of northern rural Stokes.”
Paul Blue will pose the questions and moderate Sunday’s forum. Candidates will be given two minutes to introduce themselves and answer questions which could include their background, qualifications for the job, why they’re running, biggest issues they believe exist, and differences between parts of the county, Stimson said.
“They’ll each be given a chance to address the same topic in their own way and have equal time before making closing remarks,” Stimson added.
Our Communities of Northwest Stokes is hoping to see a strong turnout and believes this could be a pivotal election for the county.
“Everybody has been invited. If I were a candidate, I would want to be there. I would want people to know I was interested in what they thought and I would like them to know about me and what I thought about the future as an elected official,” Stimson said. “It’s always important for voters to see who has enough interest to show up. I’m a reasonably informed person, but I don’t know all of the candidates and many in the community don’t. It’s important to understand how they think about the future because that’s what we’re working towards, a better future for everyone.”
After closing remarks, there will be light refreshments and an informal meet and greet.
Francisco Community Building is located at 7104 NC Highway 89 W in Westfield.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.