Friday, June 15, 2012

Let the people, er, candidates speak!

Despite the obvious Thunder obstacle, the political forum went on as planned Thursday and a good crowd flocked into the Reynolds Center to see and listen to local, state and national candidates.

Prior to the start of the forum, I mentioned to a couple of friends that at approximately 7:50 p.m., it would look like Moses parted the Red Sea as the crowd disappeared in search of a television to watch Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Thunder and the Heat.

We did lose a few, but most of the crowd stayed for the entire forum.

And they got a final look and chance to listen to many of the candidates running for positions in the upcoming Primary Election on June 26.

We got to hear some good speakers…and some that were not as polished.

Candidates talked about the usual hot button topics like jobs, taxes, water and the like.

The current office holders talked about the progress that had been made during their terms while those seeking the office preferred to look forward.

For the most part, it was a civil evening. Nobody nodded off, at least no snores could be heard from the audience.

One of the best parts of the evening was hearing Pansy Kidd student Talynn Barnes sing the National Anthem.

Then, we got to meet the candidates as they all gave a short introduction and asked for our vote.

There seemed to be a general consensus among 99.9 percent of the candidates that more and better jobs are needed, that big government is BAD, water in southeastern Oklahoma needs to stay here and not be sold or given to Texas or Oklahoma City, the economy is not all that great and nobody likes or wants to burden the good people of southeastern Oklahoma with more taxes.

We got to hear candidates for county clerk, county commissioner in District 2, county sheriff, state senate, state representative and congress.

All the candidates were given a chance to introduce themselves. Only those candidates who are involved with the Primary Election answered questions from the panel consisting of representatives from the Poteau Daily News and Sun, Oklahoma Welcome, LeFlore County Journal, Spiro Graphic and Heavener Ledger.

The event was put on by the Poteau Chamber of Commerce and the PDNS, while Central National Bank was gracious enough to sponsor the event.

Former state senator Kenneth Corn was the emcee for the event while James Smith did a good job timing the speakers.

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