The Dodge City/Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting, or cohosting, three candidate forums in the near future.
"We want to be good community partners and leaders," said Tara Burkhart, president of the chamber. "We want to be a conduit for information and to allow residents a chance to get to know their candidates.
"We want voters to choose their candidates on information provided."
The chamber’s first forum is tonight at 7 p.m. at The Learning Center. It focuses on the race for USD 443 Board of Education seats.
Brian E. Mashak, Tammie West and Lisa J. Killion are running for re-election with the top four vote getters being named to the board. Other candidates are Joseph E. Finley, Justin Coffey, Jamey Lewis-Gonzales and Pamela K. Preston. Barbara Lundin is not running for re-election and Joyce Warshaw, whose name will be on the ballot, has pulled out of the USD 443 race.
"We’re taking questions for all the forums at our website," Burkhart said. "Due to time, we aren’t going to be taking questions from the audience, but we will ask the questions submitted prior to the forum.
"In fact, beginning at 6:30 p.m. we will also take questions from those who want to fill out our questionnaire prior to the forum starting."
The second forum, on Oct. 17, may be the biggest of the election season as Dodge City Community College will host candidates for DCCC’s Board of Trustees seats.
"Based on the fact there were 14 candidates prior to the primary, this might be the one many are interested in," Burkhart said. "Again, we will ask questions submitted prior to the forum."
Candidates attempting to fill trustees seats are incumbents Morris Reeves, Merrill Conant and Gary Harshberger, along with Kathy Ramsour, Pete Weil, Dan Richenborn, Mia Schraeder Korbelik and Bill Hammond. The top four vote getters join the board.
The DCCC Board of Trustees forum, being held at the school’s Little Theater, is sponsored by the chamber, DCCC, Rocking M Radio and the Dodge City Daily Globe.
The following night candidates for open seats on the Dodge City City Commission will meet with voters at Dodge City Library.
"We want our residents and voters involved," Burkhart said. "It’s important to ask the questions you want answered and this is a good way to do so."
The city of Dodge City (commission) is a 4-year term for the top two vote getters, with the third top vote getter elected to a 2-year term. Brian Delzeit, E. Kent Smoll and Joyce Warshaw will be running for re-election, while Kevin D. Gwaltney, Liliana Zuniga and Charles J. Sellens are also running.
Burkhart suggested after the forum will also be a good time for voters to ask candidates questions if they didn’t get their questions answered during the event.
To submit questions for the forums, visit www.dodgechamber.com.
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