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Cumberland Forum Aims To Educate Voters Thursday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland Forum Aims To Educate Voters Thursday

Cumberland County will host a Republican Candidate Forum Thursday to help voters cast an informed, accurate decision.

Crossville Mayor RJ Crawford said the event will act as a meet-and-greet for those unfamiliar with candidates. He said the School Board and Property Assessor positions are the only two races that are contested.

“I think it’s kind of our responsibility as a party to make sure that we are vetting out candidates and allowing for people that identify as Republican or conservative voters have the ability to get a chance to have an open, honest debate and conversation,” Crawford said.

Crawford said candidates will be faced with the tough questions that many Cumberland County citizens need answered before casting a vote. He said he wants to make sure the candidates are prepared and comfortable, as some of them are running for office for the first time.

“We’re not going to treat this like it’s a national president on the big screen debate,” Crawford said. “We want to make sure that people have the opportunity to be prepared.”

Crawford said candidates for the school board will be faced with questions about overcoming challenges like how to operate within the budget, how they will open doors for facility upgrades, and how they plan to handle the Governor’s proposed voucher program. He said Cumberland County is largely Republican, so whoever wins the primary is almost guaranteed to step into office.

Crawford said they held a forum for the last election cycle and decided to do it again based on that success.

“We had a great turnout and great feedback,” Crawford said. “People were happy because, before that, there really wasn’t a candidate forum that was held that allowed for any and everybody to listen to, as well as actual questions being asked.”

Crawford said this will also be a helpful tool for news agencies to relay accurate information to the public. He said his goal is to remain impartial and allow every candidate the opportunity to represent themselves as they are and present the community with their goals for a potential term.

The forum will begin at 6:00pm at the Community Complex on Livingston Road in Crossville. It was rescheduled from January because of the winter storm.


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