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Voters get two last chances up close with candidates

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By MELODY JAMESON

RUSKIN – As the mid-term November election looms on the horizon, South County voters have just two more public opportunities to question their candidates before marking ballots in their precincts.

An evening “meet and greet” with county and state level office seekers has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, and a Saturday morning candidates Q and A forum is set for October 23. Both are strictly non-partisan, informational gatherings aimed at giving voters last chances to air issues with those who will represent them during the next several years, organizers said.

78397134The Tuesday function will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in the ballroom across the entry foyer from the restaurant facility at the Little Harbor Resort, according to Melanie Morrison, executive director of the Ruskin Southshore Chamber of Commerce. Organized by the chamber, the event is being sponsored by Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic, she said. Free of charge for chamber members but with a nominal $5 charge asked from non-members, it will include a buffet selection of light finger foods, Morrison added.

This candidate function will be “strictly a meet and greet” type of gathering with no formal agenda followed, the chamber director noted. The objective is to give voters time to interact with the candidates in a social setting, encouraging conversation about candidate positions on various topics of interest to their potential constituents, she added.

Candidates for the three seats on the Hillsborough County commission that directly relate to the South County area as well as those seeking seats on the county school board , along with candidates for the Florida Senate and House of Representatives have been invited to participate, Morrison said.

Those wishing to attend are asked to so advise the chamber office at 813-645-3808 during business hours.

The Saturday Candidates Q & A, jointly sponsored by the Ruskin Community Development Foundation as well as M&M Printing and its Ruskin, Sun City Center and Riverview newspapers, will be held in the community conference room on the Southshore campus of Hillsborough Community College, east Shell Point Road. The forum will open at 10 AM, according to Dr. Allen Witt, current foundation president.

For approximately two hours, voters will have the opportunity to question county and state office seekers after each has introduced him or herself and outlined qualifications, Witt said. At this last non-partisan South County forum before the November 2 election, the foundation president indicated he would expect probing questions about the number of serious issues confronting both the county and the state, and with strong implications for the southern region of the county.

County commission candidates, including those running for the District One seat and those vying for the two open at-large seats, have been invited to join the forum discussion. Invitations also have been extended to the four individuals campaigning for two school board seats that affect the South County plus candidates for state senate and state house positions representing the region.

The informational forum is open to the public and free of charge.

Access to the second floor conference room at the college is provided both by elevator and stairway. Light refreshments are planned.

Copyright 2010 Melody Jameson
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