The people of Jackson County had a taste of the old with the accommodations of the new Tuesday night when the Chipola Fine Arts Center was filled almost to its 700 plus seat capacity to hear from local, state, and national candidates. Long before some of these candidates were eligible to vote, local towns held political speakings on Saturday night with the last political gathering being held on the courthouse square in Marianna the Monday night before the election on Tuesday. Temperatures were unbearable but crowds showed to hear one last time why each candidate thought they should get your vote. Tuesday night, those attending saw in air-conditioned comfort and heard candidate after candidate bring their platform to life.
Adam Basford of Farm Bureau emceed the program and welcomed the unopposed candidates to the podium first. Stacey Goodson, Clay Rooks, Mark Sims, and Sylvia Stephens all reiterated to the audience how blessed and thankful they were to have run with no opposition and how eager they were to serve the citizens of Jackson County. George Gainer, senator elect for District 2 was unable
Basford discussed each of the six amendments on the ballot this year before the introduction of the candidates present to inform the citizens of their platform.
The crowd heard from every local race, along with district, and congressional races coming up for vote on August 30.
The forum was hosted by the Jackson County Farm Bureau, Farm Credit, Jackson County Cattleman’s Association, Beef O’Brady’s, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and the Jackson County Times. Scott O’Brien of Beef O’Brady’s, was more than pleased with the overall forum, the turnout and the candidates who spoke, “I thought it was exceptional. I thought it was a great forum to give everybody an opportunity to meet and greet their candidates and make an informed decision and help people get a read on their candidates. It was very civil and I was glad I got to talk to a lot of candidates. It definitely opened my eyes with being a host and being a part of it. I thought it was an excellent, informed venue. We definitely want to thank Chipola for the opportunity to use their facility and Beef’s was happy to be a part of proud sponsor. I’d do it again for sure.”
Jeffrey Pittman from the Jackson County Cattleman’s Association, “I thought it was an excellent opportunity for the community to meet the candidates and the facility at Chipola College was second to none. It was a very comfortable setting and it was run very efficiently. The TIMES, the judge, you (Shelia Mader), the chamber, Beef’s, Farm Bureau, Farm Credit, and The Cattlemen’s Association did a great job. I thought it was a really, really nice event.”
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