Candidate forum planned

Published 10:35 pm Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A week before the polls open to elect City Council and School Board representatives, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is hosting the last forum for City Council candidates.

The forum will be held Oct. 28 at 6:45 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 100 E. Constance Road.

This is the fourth local election year in which the chamber has held a forum, said Dean McClain, director of governmental affairs for Chesapeake and Suffolk.

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“We want to give the community an opportunity to hear from the candidates one last time,” McClain said. “It’s not a debate, per se, but it’s a conversation about the issues and the topics that have been discussed thus far.”

All eight candidates in the three contested races — the Cypress, Holy Neck and Suffolk boroughs — have been invited. A fourth borough up for election, Chuckatuck, has the incumbent running unopposed.

The forum is expected to last about two hours, McClain said. Each candidate will be given two minutes to make opening remarks, and then each candidate will be asked several questions from a set developed by members of the Suffolk Division of the Chamber of Commerce. McClain said he also will try to incorporate questions from the audience.

Each candidate also will be given a question that will address a previous statement he has made during the campaign. To conclude the forum, each candidate will receive one and a half minutes for a summary.

McClain said the forum is free and open to the public, and he encouraged everyone to attend.

“It’s great to have democracy in action,” McClain said. “We’d love to see the citizens come out.”