Public in Isle of Wight to meet candidates

Published 5:57 pm Friday, September 27, 2019

To the Editor:

The Isle of Wight Citizens’ Association (IWCA), in partnership with the Isle of Wight NAACP, the Carrollton Civic League (CCL) and, new this year, the Southern and Central Isle of Wight Citizens’ Group (SCIWCG) and new participation by members of the Windsor area AARP, are continuing a long tradition of hosting candidates’ forums during election years for elected offices that are contested.

This year, we are planning on three forums: (1) School Board Candidates’ Night on Wednesday, Oct. 16; (2) Board of Supervisors Candidates’ Night on Tuesday, Oct. 22 (both to be held at the Smithfield Center); and (3) Virginia State Office Candidates’ Night on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Windsor Town Center.

These forums continue a long tradition and format that was started by Mrs. Grace Keen, who founded and was the longtime (almost 40 years) president of the IWCA. These events, dedicated to her, have been a popular way for citizens of Isle of Wight County to prepare to vote in local elections. Citizens can meet and hear thoughts and objectives of candidates who have opposition. The format also includes candidate responses to moderated questions from citizens in the audience. As usual, these events are scheduled about a month before the local elections in November. Newer moderators are carrying on with the traditional format.

The doors will open for each event at 5:45 p.m., giving time for candidates to meet and talk with citizens who come early. The program begins promptly at 7 p.m. with a pledge and opening remarks. Each candidate will then be given 5 minutes to address the gathering with prepared remarks, followed by a moderated question-and-answer period for each pair of opposing candidates. Questions will be submitted by citizens on 3×5 cards that are picked up and brought to the moderators. Similar questions are compiled and summarized to the candidate(s) for their responses. The evening will wrap up by 9 p.m.

Jim Henderson, treasurer

Isle of Wight Citizens Association