Public voter forum slated for Tuesday

Voters in the Nov. 16 general election will have the opportunity to hear several candidates in Sabine Parish runoff races at a public forum hosted by the Town of Many.

The forum will be Nov.12 at 7 p.m. at the Many Community Center. The public is encouraged to attend and listen to the candidates.

"We believe an informed electorate is important in our democracy.  That's why we are hosting a public forum to allow candidates to speak about their platforms, policies they plan to support, and why they think they should be elected in the Nov. 16 election,"  said Many Mayor Ken Freeman.

Carroll Ellzey, candidate for tax assessor; Ronny Richardson, the incumbent candidate for sheriff; James Murphy, candidate for police juror, District 3; Matthew M. Adams and Jeff Gilligan Davidson, candidates for police juror from District 5 will all be speaking and answering questions at the public forum on Nov. 12. 

Mary Brocato, Many's alderman at large, who is working to organize the public forum, said all candidates in runoffs were invited to the forum.  She said she was disappointed when two candidates for major offices  told her they did not feel the public forum was in their best interests and that they had been advised by their campaign strategists not to appear.

Aaron Mitchell, who is in the runoff for sheriff, and Chris Tidwell, who is running for Sabine Parish tax assessor, both declined to appear. Charlie Brown, who is in the runoff for the District 3 police jury seat, also declined. 

Brocato stressed that the forum would be completely objective and not biased toward any candidate in any way.  "This forum gives voters the chance to become better informed about the candidates, so it's disappointing when candidates won't become available to tell voters about themselves and their candidacies."

Tommy O'Con is also working to organize the forum.  O'Con stressed that he and Brocato would be completely neutral and unbiased toward any of the candidates appearing at the forum. 

Brocato and O'Con will serve as moderators for the public forum. 

Voting is an important responsibility of U.S. citizens. The law does not require citizens to vote, but by voting, citizens are participating in the democratic process.

Mayor Freeman stressed that people should then make every effort to vote in local, state, and federal elections. Many people dismiss this responsibility by saying that they do not care about the issues on the ballot or that they are unfamiliar with the candidates up for election. However, by failing to use their privilege to vote, people essentially allow other voters to make decisions for them, to let their voices be heard over voters who make no effort go to the polls. This is one of the primary reasons why all citizens should vote.

 The outcomes of elections can impact voters’ personal freedoms, taxes, and other aspects of daily life that they take for granted. Because of the far-reaching impact that an election can have, people have the duty to cast their vote if they want a say in how their futures play out.

That's why the Town of Many is hosting this public forum:  so people can learn about the candidates and make informed choices.  Then the responsibility is up to the citizens to vote on those candidates for sheriff, tax assessor, and police jury whom they think will serve the citizens best. 




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