ELECTION BRIEFS: South Charleston Chamber sponsoring candidate forums

By Lawrence Smith | Sep 24, 2008

SOUTH CHARLESTON – As Election Day draws near, the South Charleston Chamber of Commerce will host two forums to allow voters an opportunity to hear where candidates for one statewide and one local race stand on issues.

The first forum features all three candidates for state Supreme Court: Democrats Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman and Republican Beth Walker. It will take place Monday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the South Charleston Community Center's Room 3.

Joyce Dabiri, the Chamber's executive director, said each candidate will have three minutes to make an opening and closing remark. The forum's moderator will pose questions of the candidates, first from ones submitted by the Chamber's public policy committee, and then from those submitted by the audience via an index card.

The moderator for the forum, Dabiri said, is WCHS-TV 8/ FOX News 11 reporter Kennie Bass. The forum will take a 10-minute recess prior to the submission of audience questions.

Two weeks later on Tuesday, Oct. 21, the second forum will be held featuring candidates for the 30th House of Delegates district.

Candidates who've confirmed their attendance are Democrats Bonnie Brown, Nancy Peoples Guthrie, Bobbie Hatfield, Doug Skaff Jr., Sharon Spencer, Danny Wells and Republicans Bud Anderson Todd Carden, Victoria Casey, Fred Joseph and John Miller.

The format for the 30th District forum will be the same for the Supreme Court forum except the candidates will have less time to make an opening and closing remark. Also, instead of the community center, it will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the LaBelle Theatre on D Street across from the public library in downtown South Charleston.

In the Supreme Court race, the top two vote getters will serve for a 12-year term. Though both Ketchum and Walker are first-time office seekers, Workman first served as a Kanawha Circuit judge from 1981 to 1988 then as a justice from 1989 to 1999.

In the 30th District race, the seven candidates with the most votes will serve for a two-year term. Democrats Brown, Guthrie, Hatfield, Spencer and Wells are incumbents.

Charleston attorney Mark Hunt, a Democrat who previously served in the 30th District from 2002 to 2006, is also a candidate.

For additional information on the forums, contact the Chamber via telephone at (304) 744-0051 or e-mail at soccoc@wvdsl.net.

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