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Public has opportunity to meet the candidates

After months of campaigning, eight candidates for state and county offices came face to face with their opponents last night.

The Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a legislative forum last night with three debates with state senate, state representative, and county commissioner candidates.

A debate between U.S. Congress candidates Ted Strickland and Mike Halleck was scheduled for the evening, but Strickland had obligations in Washington and could not attend.

"This is an ideal forum for voters," said Patricia Clonch, executive director of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. "This is their chance to become better informed and make a better decision at the polls.'

"We have quality candidates," she continued. "People aren't going to have to choose the lesser of two evils. Some of the college students who attended tonight are probably voting for the first time, and they can use their decision-making skills that are so important. Some people who were undecided who came here tonight probably left knowing who they were going to vote for."

State senate candidates Michael Shoemaker (D) and John Carey (R), 87th District House of Representative candidates Fred Deel (D) and Clyde Evans (R), 89th District Todd Book (D) and Harold Sayre (R) and Lawrence County Commission candidates Doug Malone (D) and Paul Herrell (R).

Topics that arose during the state senate and representative debates included equal education funding, economic development and providing affordable prescription drugs.

During county commission debates, candidates discussed how to stimulate economic development, cleaning up the county, combining 911 dispatching services, transportation, and River Valley Health Systems.