Co-Op Club to host #039;Meet the Candidates#039;

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2003

Now that the political races are heating up, the Ironton Co-Operative Club wants to help voters to "Meet the Candidates" next week.

The public forum will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ohio University Southern in the Bowman Auditorium.

"This is for the community to meet all the candidates, hear their platforms and to hear their plans for the city," said Cheryl Willis, event organizer and Co-Op member. "They might not have a chance to do so otherwise."

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Each candidate will have a few minutes to introduce themselves and explain their views and political platform.

The audience will then have a chance to submit written questions for the candidates that will asked by Bob Smith, assistant dean for development at OUS and former WSAZ-TV anchor, who will moderate the forum.

First up will be the candidates for the Ironton City Schools Board of Education and Ironton City Council.

Ironton Board of Education candidates for the three vacant seats are newcomers James E. Colegrove, Tim Johnson, Kathy Kratzenberg, Paul Kuehne and incumbents Gary L. Neal and Robert Pleasant Jr.

Three city council seats with four-year terms are up for election. Incumbents Jesse Roberts and Richard Price are seeking reelection and will face former city health commissioner Charlie Kouns and Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library branch manager Chuck O'Leary.

The Ironton mayoral candidates current Mayor Bob Cleary and Ironton Councilman John Elam will take center stage at 8:30 p.m.

Because these people could be the future leaders of the city, it is important voters know as much as they can when they go to the polls, Willis said. It will also give people the opportunity to think about the individuals and reflect on their platforms before they have to make a decision, she said.

"I don't even know some of the candidates and I live in Ironton," Willis said. "This will give me the opportunity to hear their platforms and ask questions. Also, people will be able to meet with them and talk afterwards."

This is the second time the Co-Op Club has sponsored a political forum such as this, but the club hopes it will become an annual event, she said. In 2001, several hundred people attended.

Anyone who wants more information may contact Co-Op Club members Cheryl Willis at 532-4243 or Lou Pyles at 533-3826.