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5 candidates to participate in Thursday forum at Memorial Park Community Center

Zach Vance • Oct 3, 2018 at 10:41 PM

The Northeast Tennessee branch of the National Association of Social Workers is hosting a community educational forum Thursday, and the public will get to hear from five state and federal candidates on the November ballot.

The forum will start at 6 p.m. and be held at the Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., in Johnson City.

As of Wednesday, organizer Jennifer Parris said Democrat Marty Olsen, Republican Matthew Hill, Democrat Nathan Farnor, Republican Micah Van Huss and Independent Murphey Johnson have confirmed their attendance.

Olsen’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, will not be participating.

“Dr. Roe is unable to attend Thursday night but looks forward to participating in the televised debate next week,” a Roe campaign spokesperson told the Johnson City Press.

Hill and Farnor will be vying for Tennessee’s 6th House District, while Van Huss and Johnson will contend for Tennessee’s 7th House District.

The event is free and open to the public, but Parris said social workers will be given priority because seating will be limited.

“This event is designed to give candidates the opportunity to share their goals, objectives and positions on issues with members of the organization, East Tennessee State University students and faculty and members of the community,” Parris said.

Each candidate will have approximately 10 minutes to talk about themselves and their campaign, and then the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions.

In the governor’s race, Republican nominee Bill Lee and Democratic nominee Karl Dean will participate in a one-hour debate Oct. 9 at 6:45 p.m. at the Eastman Employee Center. Tickets for that event can be picked up at the Kingsport Times News office at 701 Lynn Garden Drive or at the Johnson City Press office at 204 W. Main St.

Two tickets per person will be allotted and 1,200 total tickets will be issued. East Tennessee PBS will air the debate across the statewide PBS network of stations. The debate will also be livestreamed at www.timesnews.net and www.johnsoncitypress.com.

On Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., Olsen and Roe will participate in a Your Voice, Your Future debate at the Monarch Auditorium inside Bristol Regional Medical Center. That event will be sponsored by the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, WCYB News 5 and the Bristol Herald Courier.

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