2022 Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum

Hosted by the Boone Area & Blowing Rock Chambers of Commerce

Thursday, October 6, 2022
5:00 PM - 9:30 PM (EDT)

The annual Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, from 5:00-9:30 PM, 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.

The event is free and open to the public. In order to maintain decorum, political literature and signage will not be allowed in the room.

For those unable to attend in person, this event will be broadcast live, in its entirety, on SkyBest TV, YouTube TV, and WATA (1450 AM / 96.5 FM), and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce website. Archives of each segment of the forum will be made available on Boone Area Chamber of Commerce platforms following the event.

Click here for the BACC website live stream >>

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 panel of moderators. Questions will come from audience submissions 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 Sheriff, Watauga County Board of Education, North Carolina State House, and the Watauga County Board of Commissioners have been invited to participate.

Schedule of Candidates

5:00 – Venue opens and seating area open to the public

5:10 - Welcome & announcements

5:15 - Candidates for US House of Representatives

  • Kyle Parrish (D)
  • Virginia Foxx (R) (I)

6:00 – Candidates for Watauga County Sheriff

  • Len Hagaman (D) (I)
  • David Searcy (R)

6:45 - Candidates for Watauga County Board of Education

  • Marshall Ashcraft (I)
  • Gary Childers (I)
  • Chad Cole
  • Jay Fenwick (I)
  • Jennifer Hanifan
  • Dustin Kerley

7:45 - Candidates for NC House (Districts 93 & 87)

     House District 93 (Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany)

  • Ben Massey (D)
  • Ray Pickett (R) (I)

     House District 87 (Caldwell, Watauga)

  • Barbara Kirby (D)
  • Destin Hall (R) (I)

8:30 - Candidates for Watauga County Commissioners

District 1

  • Angela King (D)
  • Todd Castle (R)

District 3

  • Billy Kennedy (D) (I)
  • Braxton Eggers (R)

District 4

  • Larry Turnbow (D) (I)
  • Melissa Tausche (R)


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 a 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. 

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


 Thursday, October 6, 2022
5:00 PM - 9:30 PM (EDT)

For More Information:

David Jackson

David Jackson

President/CEO, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce