With less than one month until early voting begins for the March primaries, there is no shortage of messages out there. Candidates have social media at their disposal, and they use it to push out their mission statements and prepared remarks. They also work their tails off going from event to event, trying to shake as many hands as possible.
“Ragged is our life until the campaign is over,” one told me recently while trying to align our calendars. He was willing to cram two events, on opposite ends of the county, into one night. Instead, I offered to reschedule.
Still, most potential voters don’t have the opportunity to hear from candidates, unscripted, face to face.
Consider this your invitation.
We all benefit from an informed electorate, and to that end, The Facts is planning an election forum, our first to host in at least 25 years. I will moderate, and the questions will come from you, our readers.
The event is open to the public and will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Lake Jackson Civic Center terrace rooms. It will feature an hour-long meet-and-greet for candidates in contested primary races in Brazoria County. Those include judicial races, constable and justice of the peace spots.
We then will move to a question-and-answer session, first with candidates for the Republican nomination for Brazoria County sheriff, which includes Richard Foreman, Randy Rhyne and Bo Stallman.
The second hour of question-and-answer will be with candidates for the Republican nomination for Texas House District 25, a race that became extremely competitive when Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced he would not run again.
That race features a field of five Republicans vying to face one Democrat in November. The five on the Republican primary ballot in March are Troy Brimage, Ro’Vin Garrett, Rhonda Seth, Mitch Thames and Cody Vasut.
All candidates for both of those races have said they will attend the forum. They are anxious to hear from you.
These are important local races that don’t command attention the way national races do, but the outcome of them has just as much impact on our daily lives as who becomes president, if not more. The candidates are invested in telling their message, and we should be anxious to hear it.
Topics covered in questions readers submit will be disclosed to candidates in advance of the forum, but exact questions will not. Facts editors will add additional questions, if necessary, and additional questions could be accepted from attendees via index cards at the event, if time allows.
I greatly admire people willing to step into the public eye for a chance to do something to improve their communities. Anyone willing to step up deserves our respect, and that is what candidates will get from me on Feb. 4. They’ll also face some direct questions on issues that matter to you, as any candidate seeking to represent you should.
We want to hear from you. What do you want to know from your next sheriff or state representative? Please submit questions in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person or by mail at The Facts offices, 720 S. Main St. in Clute.