Candidate forum goes online

A livestream political forum with school board candidates is offered on Facebook Thursday evening. It's made possibly by the Iola United Methodist Churches. More forums will follow on Thursdays with City Council candidate.

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September 15, 2021 - 10:22 AM

A livestream political forum with local school board candidates will be available on Facebook at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The forum will take place at The Foundry (formerly Trinity United Methodist Church) but will not be open to the public. Instead, it will be available on Facebook, under Iola United Methodist Churches – Iola, Kansas.

All four school board candidates are expected to appear. They include Sofie Alexander, Mandey Coltrane, Robin Griffin-Lohman and John D. Wilson. Three positions are up for election in November.

Wesley United Methodist Church pastor Jocelyn Tupper said the forum is possible because of a grant, the Peace and Justice Ministries. It encourages opportunities on social justice issues.

As part of the grant, the church is encouraging voter registration and has conducted registration drives.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for us and the first of many things we do with the community as our role as responsible citizens,” Tupper said. “I’m hoping people will be responsive.”

The forum is part of the grant, and will continue as Facebook livestreams on Thursdays at the same time.

There will also be a forum each for the mayor’s race and each ward in the Iola City Council. The final event will be a combined forum for all city candidates.

Lyle Kee will moderate the forum. 

Each candidate will have an opportunity for an opening and closing statement. They’ve been submitted questions and there will be time to respond to questions posted on Facebook.

The event is nonpartisan and is not religious.

Tupper said she expects the school board candidates will address the issue of face masks and COVID protocols, but she hopes that does not dominate the discussion.

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