There are two political forums scheduled in the coming weeks. The first, on Oct. 3, will let voters hear from candidates for several offices:
County judge-executive, whose candidates are incumbent John Myers (R), former treasurer Henry Branham (D) and write-in candidate Robert Stone.
County attorney, whose candidates are incumbent Gardner Wagers (R) and challenger Brian Thomas (D).
Sheriff, a campaign between two newcomers, Berl Perdue Jr. (R) and William Elkins (D).
Jailer, between incumbent Bobby Stone (D) and Daniel Konstantopoulos (R).
State representative, a rematch between Democratic incumbent Don Pasley and Republican Ralph Alvarado.
School board, where incumbents Judy Hicks, 1st District, and Rick Perry, 4th District, will face challengers Joseph Robert Drumm and William Richard Catron, respectively.
The first forum will be at the Clark County Extension Office on Fortune Drive. It begins at 6 p.m., after a meet and greet that starts at 5:30.
A second forum on Oct. 16 will have candidates for the Winchester Board of Commissioners, the mayor's office and county magistrates, who make up the fiscal court. This forum will also be at 6, after a meet and greet.
Candidates for the city commission are challenger W. Chris Aaron and incumbents JoEllen Reed, Rick Beach, Shannon J. Cox and Kenny Book. Candidates for mayor are former City Manager Ed Burtner and Clint Jones. Candidates for county magistrate, by district (with second and fourth left out because they are unopposed), are: 1st District, Larry Stamper (D) and Rick Smith (R); 3rd, Vanessa Oaks Rogers (D) and Mike Stokley (R); 5th, Pamela Sue Blackburn (D) and Bearl D. Ashcraft Jr. (R); 6th, Bonnie Hummel (D) and Linda Rake (R); and 7th, John Henry Ramsey (D) and Rob Ratliff (R). The magistrates are elected by district.
These forums certainly won't be the only opportunities to find out about the candidates, but they will offer most voters the only face-to-face encounter with the people for whom they will be voting either for or against. Opportunities to judge a person's words up close do not come often in elections.
Also on the ballot will be a referendum regarding the fiscal court, proposing a change from the seven-magistrate system to one with three commissioners. The petition for the referendum was started by former judge-executive candidate Leland True. Should this proposal be approved, district lines would have to be redrawn from seven to three, and the changes would not take place until 2010. Each district would then nominate both a Democratic and Republican candidate, and the county would elect the commissioners at large from that pool of nominees.
Use your right to vote on Nov. 7, or don't complain later.