HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Eighteen candidates running for various offices in Forrest County had the chance to share their platforms Thursday afternoon at a political forum at the C.E. Roy Community Center.
"This is a local level, which in many ways is most important,” said Dr. Michael Forster, president of Forward 365. “Because things that happen at the local level immediately effect people’s lives. So when we have 20 offices coming up, it’s vitally important that as many citizens as possible know who the candidates are, what the issues are and get the motivation to come out and vote.”
The purpose of this forum was to allow the community and candidates to interact one on one with each other to talk about major issues.
“Just to give everyone in the public a chance to understand how they perceive their job, what changes they want to make and how they feel they are the best equipped for their job,” said Peg Ciraldo, president of the League of Women Voters Pine Belt chapter. “Just a chance for the community to be educated on who they’re going to be voting for in August.”
Each office seeker gave a short speech about what they plan to do if elected, then they had the opportunity to answer questions from the audience. Organizers say forums like this are a way to keep the public educated on the political needs in the county.
"Once we get our community educated, we're going to have a better citizen,” said Forrest County NAACP president Clarence Magee. “We're going to have better schools. We're going to have better administration, and that's what we strive for."
The primary election will be held on August 6. The General election will be November 5.