Candidate’s debate decorous, informative

Editor’s Note: Recordings of the Candidate’s Panel were graciously provided by our friends at WIZS and are used by permission.

All Vance County candidates running with opposition in the November 7 election showed yesterday at the Candidate’s Panel sponsored by the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, the Vance County Farm Bureau, Vance-Granville Community College, and WIZS Radio.

Home in Henderson played a minor role in the proceedings by submitting questions to the sponsors from its readers and by assisting in the screening of audience questions.

Also present were unopposed candidates Jim Crawford and Michael Wray. In the audience were political notables Bobby Gupton, Robert Duke, Eddie Wright, the Reverend C.J. Dale, Sara Coffey, Deryl von Williams, and others.

The format of the panel allowed for opening statements from opposed and well as unopposed candidates. Each had three minutes to make a statement. There were then two rounds of questions which were prepared in advance by the sponsors of the event. Candidates had two minutes to respond to these questions. After that, there were two rounds of questions from the audience which were submitted in writing to a screening panel consisting of Bill Edwards from the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce and Jason Feingold of Home in Henderson. Questions were screened for repetitiveness, for whether or not they addressed the race rather than the individual candidate, and whether or not they were “personal” in nature, e.g., in the form of a personal attack.

Bill Edwards
Bill Edwards addressing the Panel

The rules for submitting audience questions were explained by Edwards before the debate began to the crowd of over 100 people.

Audience right
Audience right

Audience left
Audience left

The crowd exceeding the seating capacity of the chamber, and folding chairs were set out where possible. Many audience members stood in the back of the room.

Two Sheriff’s deputies were present to provide security for the event.
Carol Monahan
Carol Monahan

Carol Monahan of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce provided opening comments. She thanked the candidates and sponsors and characterized the event as important.

Kenneth Clark
Kenneth Clark

Kenneth Clark of the Vance County Farm Bureau was the next to speak. He said that it was a privilege to participate in the event. He expressed the hope that the debate would be both lively and cordial.

The moderator of the event, Gene Purvis, the Vice-President of Student Affairs at Vance-Granville Community College, then gave the candidates the rules of the debate. In addition to the rules already stated above, he indicated that questions would be asked by George Rush of WIZS and Glenn Craven of The Daily Dispatch, and that closing statements would be called for if time allowed.

Craven & Rush
Glenn Craven and George Rush

James Edwards, publisher of The Daily Dispatch served as the time-keeper for the panel, using a laptop with a large countdown display visible to the candidates for a clock.

Gene Purvis
Moderator Gene Purvis

Purvis reinfored that no personal attacks would be allowed.

Listen to the Panel opening here.