Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum set for October 23rd (RSVP Updated 10/18)

Posted By: David Jackson Chamber News,

The annual Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23rd, from 5:30 - 9:30 pm inside the large courtroom at the Watauga County Courthouse.

The event is co-hosted by the Boone Area & Blowing Rock Chambers of Commerce.

As this event is hosted by two Chambers of Commerce, questioning 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, State House & Senate, and Watauga County Commissioner, Board of Education, and Sheriff have been invited to participate. In addition, Court System candidates (Judges, DA, Clerk) and candidates for Watauga County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor will be given a chance to briefly introduce themselves to the audience.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP is not required, but please note that seating is limited in the courtroom. The event will be simulcast live, in its entirety, on WATA (1450 AM / 96.5 FM). 

An updated list of candidate RSVPs can be found at www.boonechamber.com. The projected schedule will be as follows:

Schedule of Candidates:

5:30 – Welcome & Introductions

5:35 - Candidates for US House of Representatives

6:20 – Introductions of Court System candidates (Judges, DA, Clerk)

6:40 – Candidates for Watauga County Commissioner

7:25 - Candidates for NC Senate, NC House of Representatives

8:10 - Introductions of Watauga Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor candidates

8:20 – Candidates for Watauga County Board of Education

9:05 – Candidates for Watauga County Sherriff


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.  The audience will be allowed to submit written questions during the forum.  All questions will be asked by the moderator.  Each response will have a 1-minute time limit and each candidate will have a 2-minute closing statement.  This forum is not intended to be a debate between candidates or between the audience and the 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.

Candidate RSVPs (Updated 10/18):

US House of Representatives: 

Virginia Foxx (R) (I)

DD Adams (D)

NC Senate:

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R) (I)

Wes Luther (D)

NC House

Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R) (I)

Ray Russell (D)

District Attorney

Seth Banks

Watauga County Commissioner

David Blust (R)

Larry Turnbow (D) (I)

Billy Kennedy (D) (I)

Tim Hodges (R)

Tommy Sofield (R)

Charlie Wallin (D)

Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

Chris Hughes

Bill Moretz

Watauga County School Board

Gary Childers (I)

Jay Fenwick (I)

Steve Combs

Danny Watts

Jason Cornett (I)

Watauga County Clerk of Court

Travis Critcher (R)

Diane Cornett Deal (D) (I)

Watauga County Sheriff

Len Hagaman (D) (I)

David Searcy (R)

Media Coverage:

Both Chambers welcome coverage of the forum from accredited local and State media outlets. Accommodations will be made for line-level audio distribution and a photographer's platform based on need. If your outlet is interested in covering this forum, please notify David Jackson or Charles Hardin no later than Monday, October 22nd, at 4:30 pm.

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