[Update] 10-23-2012 at 11:30 p.m. by Garin Flowers
For Lonnie Griffin, he truly values his right to be able to vote. He says many years ago he wasn't able to because of his skin color.
"I came up in the years when it was hard to even get to the polls and vote, but now we have the opportunity so I make sure I take advantage of that," Griffin said.
Griffin and other residents packed the Jefferson County courthouse Tuesday night for a political debate with local candidates.
The Chamber of Commerce has been hosting it for 36 years now.
"I thought it was very informative, I learned a lot about the candidates and especially the one that I'm going to vote for," Griffin added.
The forum included candidates from three races:
Two for tax collector,
- Paul Michael (R)
- Lois Howell-Hunter (D) (Incumbent)
Two for county commission district one,
Benny Bishop (D) (Once elected 1992-2000)
Ed Vollertsen (R)
Three for county commission district three,
Hines Boyd (NPA) (Incumbent)
CP Miller (NPA)
Vernie Key (D)
One unlikely viewer in the crowd was 17-year-old Samuel Hanks.
No, he won't be 18 by the elections and can't vote, but still wanted to educate himself on who will be governing his area.
"It's certainly interesting again to hear people that you know from town to hear what they have to say about this county, I learned a lot," he said.
The candidates battled it out, now residents will have to decide who they want to win come November 6th.
Contact the supervision of elections office for more information on candidates and where to vote.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has been hosting a political forum for more than 30 years.
Candidates from Monticello and around the county will go after people's votes in a debate.
The first forum will be Monday at 7 p.m. in the Jefferson County courthouse.
The second will be Tuesday, same place and same time.
"Well, it's a great opportunity for candidates to be able to talk to the public and and be quizzed by a panel that asks hard questions and they're always scheduled a week or two prior to the election, whether primary or general election," said Ron Cichon, moderator of both debates.
The Monday night forum will include the superintendent of school's race and a school board seat.
The Tuesday forum will feature county commission races and the tax collector race.