Oxford voters can meet the Wards 2 and 6 candidates running for election on June 6 at the Burns Belfry Multicultural Center

Published 10:39 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oxford residents living in Wards 2 and 6 will have an opportunity Tuesday to ask the candidates running for election on June 6 their views on issues facing Oxford and their wards.

The League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi will be holding a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Burns Belfry Multicultural Center with all four candidates, which include Ward 2 candidates, Republican Mark Huelse and Democrat Paula Shanks and Ward 6 candidates, Republican and incumbent Jason Bailey and Democrat Wayne Andrews.

Will Morrow, vice president of Morrow Creative, will be the moderator. Angel Morrow, the League’s vice president of Voter Services, will serve as timekeeper.

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League president Dianne Fergusson will welcome those attending, introduce any dignitaries and the candidates.

Questions will come from the audience.

“Candidates will give a three- to five-minute introductory statement,” Fergusson said. “Candidates will draw lots before the forum to determine the order. We’ll also draw lots for closing statement positions.”

The moderator will dismiss any questions that do not relate to the duties and responsibilities of an Oxford aldermen, Fergusson said.

If someone asks a candidate a particular question, they will have two minutes to answer. Then each other candidate will have one minute to answer the same questions.

“That way we’ll be able to ensure, as much as possible, that all candidates get equal time,” she said.

Fergusson said since the League’s main focus is on voter services, holding the forum was one way to accomplish that goal.

“Educating the voting public on the issues and the candidates are part of that,” she said. “Municipal elections such as this and other local elections traditionally have low voter turnout, especially when there are no state or national elections in play.”

The LWV in Oxford was just formed earlier this year and there wasn’t enough time to organize a candidate forum before the May democratic primary, she said.

“We hope to be able to hold forums for all local elections and others in the future and plan to offer community programs on topics of interest such as education, health, immigration, taxation, and others.

The League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi was organized on April 11, 2017, and now has more than 80 active members. Membership is open to anyone 16 or older.

For more information, send an email to lwvoxnms@gmail.com or call 662-333-5446.