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Candidates gearing up for local forums

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 3rd, 2012

BROOKINGS – As the Nov. 6 election gets closer, the number of opportunities for voters to hear from local candidates is on the rise.

Following a forum on education issues last night, three South Dakota State University student groups are sponsoring a candidates’ debate on Thursday.

The SDSU Political Science Club, SDSU College Democrats and the SDSU College Republicans are cosponsoring the public debate between local political candidates Oct. 4.

Among those scheduled to attend are Larry Tidemann (R) and Pam Merchant (D), candidates for the lone District 7 seat in the state Senate; and Brian Roehrich (R), Scott Munsterman (R), Spencer Hawley (D) and Linda Brandt (D), candidates for two District 7 spots in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

The debate will be held in the SDSU Student Union Lewis and Clark Room from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The event on campus is followed the next two weekends by forums for candidates for Brookings County Commission and for District 7 Senate and House of Representatives.

The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee is organizing those two events.

The local county commission forum will be held Saturday, Oct. 6. Participants will speak and answer questions from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Four candidates, Republicans Alan Gregg and Ryan Krogman and Independents Larry Jensen and Tom Yseth, are competing for two openings on the commission.

The legislative candidate forum will be held Saturday, Oct.13.

District 7 candidates Tidemann, Merchant, Hawley, Munsterman, Brandt and Roehrich have all been invited to participate.

The newly drawn boundaries of District 7 include not only the City of Brookings, but all of Brookings Township to the north of the city and Medary Township to the south.

Organizers say the Saturday forums are being conducted to allow area residents an opportunity to become better informed about the candidates for the Nov. 6 election.

Both gatherings will be held in the City/County Chambers at the Brookings City & County Government Center, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. They will be broadcast live on the City of Brookings television channel (channel 9 on Mediacom, Swiftel and ITC) and will be replayed on Saturdays from 9 to 10:30 p.m., Sundays from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Area residents are encouraged to participate by attending the forum in person and asking questions. Written questions can be submitted in advance by emailing heidi@brookingschamber.org.

Contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 692-6125 with any questions about the Saturday forums.

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