Tuesday begins string of candidate forums for all races in county

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Today is the start of what could be classified a busy campaign season for the Nov. 2 General Election as a host of candidate forums will be taking to various stages.

The Indian River Tea Party, the American Association of University Women, and the League of Women Voters with the Harvard, Princeton and Yale Clubs of the Treasure Coast are hosting a myriad of candidate forums this week. The Sebastian Property Owners Association with the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Indian River County Education Association have forums planned for Monday, next week.

All of the forums are open to the public, and most are free. The State Candidate Debate at the Emerson Center will cost attendees $10.

The following is a round-up of the public candidate forums coming up this week and next. If you know of a forum that was not included, please e-mail news@veronews.com.

Vero Beach Candidate Forum – Indian River Tea Party

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., VBHS Performing Arts Center, 1707 16th St., Vero Beach.

The event is free and open to the public, and attendees do not need to have any alliance with the Tea Party Movement to attend. Ten of the 11 City Council candidates have accepted invitations to participate in the forum, which will be moderated by a representative of the Indian River Tea Party.

The forum will be broadcast live on WTTB 1490 AM. The Indian River Tea Party is an entity formed by local residents as part of a growing grassroots, nationwide movement. Their core tenants are limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a free market system.

They encourage voters to get involved, research issues of importance to them, and vote.

To request more information about the organization and the candidate forum, e-mail info@indianriverteaparty.com

Commission, School Board, Vero Beach Candidate Forum – AAUW

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Garden Club of Indian River County, 2526 17th St., Vero Beach.

The Vero Beach Branch of the American Association of University Women will hold a Candidate Forum event  that is nonpartisan, free and open to the public.

This is an opportunity to hear from balloted candidates for positions on the Indian River County Board of Commissioners, School Board, and Vero Beach City Council.

After hearing their views, there will be a period of questions and answers followed by the ability to meet and talk to the candidates individually.

Come and be an informed and active citizen.

The Vero Beach AAUW is a non-profit organization promoting education and equity for women and girls. We welcome new members.

For membership information call Gail Helgeson at (772) 231-9172 or Gail Dailey at (772) 321-9156.

State Candidate Debate, Amendment 4 discussion – Multiple hosts

Thursday, Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m., Emerson Center, 1590 27th Ave., Vero Beach.

Sponsored by The League of Women Voters, the Harvard, Princeton and Yale Clubs of the Treasure Coast, and a broad-based, politically diverse debate committee, this is the first debate of its kind ever held in Vero.

The debate will feature candidates for Florida Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture along with a discussion/debate over Amendment 4 – Hometown Democracy. 

Invitations have also been extended to candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Caroll, Republican and Rod Smith, Democrat by debate committee members Carol Jean Jordon and Pam Director.

A lively discussion arranged by debate moderator and Fulbright Scholar Frank Alcock, Ph.D. of the non-partisan Collins Center for Public Policy is also expected regarding the “pros” and “cons” of the six amendments on this year’s ballot.

Many of the amendments could have a significant economic impact on Florida, particularly controversial Amendment 4.

The general admission ticket price is $10 per person. Net proceeds, after all event expenses are paid, will be donated to the United Way with specific allocations directed to the Treasure Coast Food Bank, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the American Red Cross.

Following the debates refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to mingle with the candidates and moderators.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.theemersoncenter.org or by calling The Emerson Center at 778-5249.  For further information, please call Debate Committee Chairperson Steve Dorrance at 772-234-0140.

Dist. 5 School Board Candidate Forum – IRC Education Association

Monday, Oct. 18, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., Heritage Center, 2140 14th Ave., Vero Beach.

Along with a debate involving all three candidates for the District 5 School Board seat, there will be a presentation on Amendment 8, involving class sizes, and the .25-mill referendum.

The debate begins at 5:30 and is expected to wrap up by 8:30 p.m. The candidates include Kimberly Keithahn, Jeff Pegler and write-in candidate Althea McKenzie.

The audience is encouraged to ask questions of the candidates at the start of the debate.

Questions will also be answered regarding Amendment 8 and the millage referendum.

Sebastian Candidate Forum – SPOA, Sebastian River Chamber

Monday, Oct. 18, 7 – 9 p.m., Sebastian City Hall, 1225 Main St., Sebastian

The Sebastian Property Owner’s Association with the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Sebastian City Council Candidate Forum at City Hall.

There are six candidates vying for two seats. Mayor Richard Gillmor and Vice Mayor Jim Hill face four challengers, including last year’s candidates David DeVirgilio and Joe Scozzari, and residents Damien Gilliams and Harvey Wheeler.

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