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PC’s Dept. of Political Science to host City of Clinton candidate forums

Two evenings of “Meet the Candidates” Forums next week will give City of Clinton voters a chance to hear the platforms of those running for mayor and contested seats on Clinton City Council ahead of the March 7 municipal elections.

The candidate forums are hosted by the Presbyterian College Department of Political Science, and are scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. next week on Tuesday and Wednesday at Edmunds Hall near S. Broad, Clinton, on the campus at Presbyterian College.

It’s a large field on candidates, and between the mayor and Clinton City Council, there are four contested seats with a total of 13 contenders. Candidates for the mayor’s race and Seat 4 will speak Tuesday night, Feb. 28, and candidates for Seats 2 and 6 will take the stage at 6 p.m. Wednesday night. 

“Erin and I felt it would be too much to ask members of the community to sit through a one-off forum featuring candidates from each city council race as well as the mayoral race,” said Ben Bailey, who along with colleague Erin McCall are the Political Science professors planning the forum. “By splitting it up, we can ensure that the candidates have enough time to introduce themselves and substantively answer questions put to them by the moderator.”

Tuesday evening is the forum for the three mayoral candidates – Leonard Pitts, Randy Randall and current City Councilman Ronnie Roth; and Seat 4 candidates – incumbent Gary Kuykendall,  Vernon McCall and Stewart Owens. Current Mayor Bob McLean is not running for re-election.

On Wednesday evening, March 1, four candidates – Shaquille Harp, Kenneth (Ken) Turner, Reginald Vance and Anita Williams, are all running for the Seat 2; and Ward 6 candidate Andy Howard will face Incumbent Megan Walsh. Current Seat 2 Council Woman Shirley Jenkins chose not to run for re-election.

“The candidates will be answering questions that we provide to them in advance,” Bailey said, “and please note that questions will not be taken from the audience.”

This is the second municipal candidate forum held by PC’s Police Sci department, but others have come as well.

“Our department has hosted two Meet the Candidates’ forums before this: the municipal elections in 2019 and S. C. House, Congressional and local (sheriff’s) elections in 2016,” McCall said. “So this will be the 3rd time.”

It’s important to students and people of the community. 

“The best democracy is an informed democracy, so we are trying to do our part,” Bailey said. “Our political science students will most likely be members of the audience. It will provide them an opportunity to see what community-focused politics looks like in action. “


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