League of Women Voters sets virtual forums for Sequim races

SEQUIM — Most candidates for Sequim-area races plan to attend virtual forums hosted by the League of Women Voters of Clallam County in late September.

Eight of 10 Sequim City Council candidates and all five hospital district candidates will answer questions from League representatives and community members on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. Virtual Zoom sign-in information can be found at lwvcla.org.

City candidates

The first forum features Sequim City Council candidates from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, with League member Norma Turner of Port Angeles as moderator.

Participants include Kathy Downer for Position 2; Vicki Lowe Position 3; Rachel Anderson, office-holder, Daryl Ness, Position 4; Brandon Janisse, incumbent, Patrick Day, Position 5; Keith Larkin, office-holder, Lowell Rathbun, Position 6.

Office-holders Sarah Kincaid, Position 2, and Mike Pence, Position 3, declined to participate. Kincaid said she’s attended previous League forums “they are not my cup of tea with too many ‘gotcha questions.’” Pence said he’s not participating because he had the understanding the forum was in Port Angeles and not conducted by local people.

Hospital, school board candidates

The second forum features Clallam County Hospital District candidates from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, with Sequim’s Linda Benson, part of the league’s Voter Services Committee, as moderator. Attending are J. Thomas Oblak, incumbent, Jim McEntire, District 1, Position 2; Thom Hightower, incumbent, District 3, Position 1; Heather Jeffers, Karen Rogers, at-large.

Sequim School Board candidates Patrice Johnston, running unopposed for Position 2, and Kristi Schmeck, at-large Position 4, will introduce themselves for two minutes each at the end of forum but no questions will be asked. Virginia Sheppard, Schmeck’s opponent, has not responded to invitations, League representatives said.

Format

League representatives said they planned to host in-person events but with rising COVID-19 infection rates they opted for virtual offerings.

Candidates not attending their respective forums can send representatives to read an introductory and closing statement about the candidate but cannot answer questions, League representatives said.

Moderators will ask questions from the League and the public submitted in advance by Monday, Sept. 27, to [email protected] with the name of the forum in the subject line.

Another forum for Fire District 3, Position 1 candidates Duane Chamlee and Jeff Nicholas will not be held as League representatives recommend voters see their previous forum at lwvcla.org.

League representatives said they are nonpartisan and focus on offering forums so that more people can attend at night and/or view at their convenience. See lwvcla.org for more on the League of Women Voters of Clallam County.

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