Bottom Row: Clayton Mullis, Tony Jenkins, Clifidean Bethea
(Lincoln Herald Staff Photos)
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
The East Lincoln Betterment Association held its Candidates Forum for the General Election Thursday night (Oct. 11th) at the East Lincoln Community Center.
Only the candidates for Sheriff, Clerk of Court, and the Board of Education had been invited to participate in the program. ELBA President Greg Smith served as the moderator for the event, asking a variety of questions of the various candidates.
Two of those who had been invited did not attend. Joan Avery, who is running for re-election to the Board of Education as the District 2 representative, wasn't present. Her opponent, Clayton Mullis, was. Mullis previously held the seat but lost to Avery in the election of 2014.
Also absent was Clarissa Metts Hill, who is one of three candidates seeking the at-large School Board seat up for election this year. Hill ran unsuccessfully two years ago for the other at-large seat on the board. Tony Jenkins, who previously served on the School Board (but in a different seat) and Clifidean Foster Bethea were there.
Also present were Sheriff candidates Bill Beam and Alan Hoyle and Clerk of Court candidates Fred Hatley and Franklin Lowery.
While they weren't a part of the program, three other candidates got the opportunity to introduce themselves to those who attended. Ali Paksoy, who currently holds seat 1 on the District Court bench and his opponent, Micah Sanderson were there as was NC House candidate Natalie Robertson.
There was also a Candidates Forum in Gastonia Thursday night that included candidates who'll be on the ballot in Gaston County. Cleveland County had held candidate forums in September and the Catawba County Farm Bureau sponsored one last week. That forum was recorded by Chad Medford's Video Service and is available for viewing on the Catawba County Farm Bureau's Facebook page.
Another Lincoln County forum is scheduled for Tuesday evening (Oct. 16th) at 6:30 at the Lincoln Cultural Center. The Lincoln Herald and the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring that event, to which all the candidates (except those in state-wide judge races) who will be on the ballot this Fall and who have one or more opponents also on the ballot have been invited.
Unlike the forum that was held before the Primary, we expect this one to be quick-moving. There won't be a lot of questions. Each candidate will be asked why they decided to run for the post they're seeking, what their qualifications are, and why (in their opinion) voters should choose them. Those who want to ask about specific issues will be encouraged to seek out the candidates and talk with them individually. The Candidates Forum Tuesday will be at 6:30 PM at the Lincoln Cultural Center, 403 E. Main St. in Lincolnton, and it should be completed by 9 PM.
Early voting begins Tuesday in all 100 North Carolina counties. While the deadline for registering to vote on Election Day (Nov. 6th) is Friday (Oct. 12th), you can register and vote at the same time during Early Voting. It's also important to know that during Early Voting, you can vote at ANY of the locations in your county of residence--you don't have to vote at the one closest to where you live. [On Election Day, Nov. 6th, you must vote at the polling place for the precinct in which you are registered.]
The Lincoln Herald will publish links to all the Early Voting locations and schedules for Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston and Cleveland counties next week, but for the Lincoln County list, CLICK HERE.
We already published a link to a sample ballot for Lincoln County voters (the one we published was for those in the city of Lincolnton; the only difference for those outside the city is that they won't vote in the city races). We'll also be publishing links to sample ballots for the other area counties early next week.
In addition to the candidate races, six proposed NC Constitutional Amendments will be on the ballot. We'll publish an article detailing those amendments and what they mean Sunday (Oct. 14th).
Gaston County voters will also decide whether or not to allow county-wide ABC sales. Currently, all Gaston County municipalities except High Shoals have beer and wine sales. Convenience groceries in areas outside those towns say they are losing business because people who drive to the towns to get beer and wine also end up buying their gas and other needs while there. While the legal possibility of a County ABC store will be included on the ballot (required by law), Gaston Commissioners say they have no intention of opening one. The only real change (if approved by voters) would be allowing beer & wine sales at stores outside of the towns.
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