2020 Meet the Candidates Forum

Thursday, October 1, 2020
5:30 PM - 10:00 PM (EDT)

The annual Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum is scheduled for Thursday, October 1st, from 5:30 - 9:30pm, and will be broadcast live from the Appalachian Theatre in Downtown Boone. The event is co-hosted by the Boone Area & Blowing Rock Chambers of Commerce.

As this event is hosted by two Chambers of Commerce, questions will allow for candidates to inform the local business community about their platform, goals, and objectives.

Questions will be asked by a moderator and will come from audience submission as well as suggestions from the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Community and Government Committee.

Candidates running for US House of Representatives, Watauga County Commissioner, North Carolina State House & Senate, and the Watauga County Board of Education have been invited to participate. 

In compliance with the North Carolina Safer-at-Home order, members of the public will not be allowed inside the venue this year, due to the limits on indoor gatherings. Instead, this event will be broadcast live, in its entirety, on AppTV, YouTube TV, and WATA (1450 AM / 96.5 FM). Archives of each segment of the forum will be made available on Boone Area Chamber of Commerce platforms following the event.

The projected schedule and an updated list of candidate RSVPs are available below:

Schedule of Candidates:

(bold indicates candidate has confirmed attendance as of 8/20)

5:30 – Welcome & Introductions

5:35 - Candidates for US House of Representatives

  • Virginia Foxx (R) (I)
  • David Wilson Brown (D)

6:35 – Candidates for Watauga County Commissioner

District 1

  • Carrington Pertalion (D)
  • Todd Castle (R)

District 2

  • John Welch (D) (I)

District 5

  • Charlie Wallin (D) (I)
  • Bart Keller (R)

7:35 - Candidates for NC Senate, NC House of Representatives

NC Senate

  • Deanna Ballard (R) (I)
  • Jeanne Supin (D)

NC House of Representatives

  • Ray Russell (D) (I)
  • Ray Pickett (R)

8:35 - Candidates for Watauga County Board of Education

  • Steve Combs (I)
  • Marshall Ashcraft
  • Jason Cornett
  • Ronny Holste


Questions will be asked of all the candidates in a ‘round robin’ format; each having an opportunity to answer first, but all answering the same question. 

Members of the community are encouraged to submit questions in advance by emailing info@boonechamber.com

All questions will be asked by the moderator.  Each response will have a 90-second time limit and each candidate will have a 2-minute opening and closing statement. 

This forum is not intended to be a debate between candidates, but rather an opportunity for the citizenry to hear each candidate’s position on topics important to all. 

In order to maintain decorum, political literature and signage will not be allowed in the room.

Please contact David Jackson at 828-264-2225 with any further questions.


For More Information:

David Jackson

David Jackson

President/CEO, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce