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Co-Op Club plans forum for election

The Ironton Co-Op club will make sure voters know who is who when it comes time to vote in the Nov. 8 election.

Continuing a recent tradition, the civic group of local women will host a "Meet the Candidates" night to allow voters the opportunity to learn a little about the people seeking votes at the polls this year.

The public forum will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Ohio University Southern's Bowman Auditorium. The event will focus on three races: Ironton City Council, Ironton School Board and the Ironton Municipal Judge.

"We just want the community to learn about the candidates, their platform and vision and to just get to know them better," said Cheryl Willis, an event organizer and Co-Op member. "Plus, it will give people the chance to ask some questions and get some answers."

Candidates will have a few minutes to introduce themselves and explain their views.

Four seats are open on the Ironton's City Council. Newcomers include Rich Blankenship, former mayor Bob Cleary, Devon Harmon, Ralph Huff, Leo Johnson, Rick Meeks and Raymond Murphy. Incumbents seeking office are Robert Isaac, William Nenni and Brent Pyles. Jim Tordiff opted not to run.

Ironton Municipal Court will be decided between incumbent O. Clark Collins Jr. and longtime attorney and assistant prosecutor Kevin Waldo.

Two seats are available on the Ironton School Board. Jerry Rowe II, former councilman Bob Vaughn will seek those positions.

The audience will have a chance to submit written questions for the candidates. Each candidate will get a chance to respond. Bob Smith, assistant dean for development at OUS and former WSAZ news anchor, will moderate the forum.

"After the last one, we got an enormous amount of feedback by the phone or someone saying that it helped a lot people who were undecided," Willis said.