BEMIDJI – Citizens for an Informed Electorate Committee will sponsor candidate forums prior to November’s general election.
Four forums will be held for partisan and non-partisan local offices, and all will be broadcasted live from Bemidji City Hall on city cable systems.
The first forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 for District 31 School Board candidates. Candidates include Paula DeClusin, Jeff Haack, Dana Kuzel, Ann Long Voelkner, John Pugleasa, John Truedson and Rob Warmboe. This will be a non-partisan forum.
The next forum will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 23, featuring District 4 County Commissioner candidates. Quentin Fairbanks and Tim Sumner will be running for the position. This forum will be immediately followed by the 9th Judicial District forum with candidates John Melbye and Diana Sweeney.
City Council Ward 1 candidates Derrick Houle and Michael Meelhaus and Ward 5 candidates Nancy Erickson and Greg Negard will participate in a forum beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 24. Mayoral candidates Rita Albrecht and David Larson will participate in a forum at 7:30 p.m. Both of these forums will be non-partisan.
A forum for District 2 candidates will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 30, followed by the District 5 candidates at 7:30 p.m.
The structure of the forums includes opening and closing statements from candidates and a moderator presenting questions collected from the audience.
Moderators for the CIE forums will be Maggie Montgomery, Station Manager at KAXE/KBXE, and John Parsons, independent television producer and former reporter for Lakeland Public Television.
Props, signs and political T-shirts will not be allowed. Campaign buttons or name tags are allowed as well as campaign brochures which may be handed out or displayed on a table.. Moderators will screen audience questions for appropriateness, duplication, diversity and other criteria. Non-participating candidates will not preclude the participation of other candidates (there will be an empty chair).