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Press to host county mayor, sheriff candidate forum April 1

March 22nd, 2014 9:33 pm by Gary B. Gray

Press to host county mayor, sheriff candidate forum April 1

The Johnson City Press is hosting a community editorial forum on April 1 at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough where the candidates for Washington County mayor - top, from left, Mayor Dan Eldridge and Mike Rutherford - and sheriff - fro

The Johnson City Press is sponsoring a Community Editorial Board meeting April 1 at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough in which candidates for Washington County mayor and sheriff will participate in a question-and-answer forum.

The Press Editorial Board will be endorsing candidates for these positions prior to the May 6 Republican primary, and its members will use what they learn about each candidate to help in the decision-making for its endorsements for these two offices.

Members of the public are welcome, and the forum is meant as an additional venue through which voters will have an opportunity to learn more about the candidates and their views on particular issues.

Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford is challenging incumbent County Mayor Dan Eldridge for Washington County’s top administrative post. Craig Ford, Jonesborough’s town operations manager, is challenging incumbent Sheriff Ed Graybeal. All candidates have accepted invitations to attend.

The forum begins at 6 p.m. with the county mayor candidates, followed by the sheriff candidates. Each will last about one hour.

Press Opinion Page Editor Robert Houk will serve as moderator and ask all questions. There will be no exchanges between the candidates themselves, or between candidates and members of the audience.

Each candidate will have four minutes to make a statement before the question-and-answer segment begins, as well as an additional four minutes at the end to make closing remarks. Candidates also will be asked seven identical questions.

Some will come from questions taken from the audience, who will jot them down on index cards and place them in a box before the meeting. Houk will select those questions along with questions prepared by the Press Editorial Board.

Candidates will be given three minutes to answer those questions. They are not required to use all three minutes, but they cannot go over that limit. The Press will utilize an official timekeeper who will alert candidates when they have 30 seconds remaining.

The International Storytelling Center is located at 116 W. Main St.

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