Jefferson County residents will have an opportunity Thursday to meet candidates for county, state and national offices and hear firsthand what their views are on topics of concern to our area.
With that in mind, we hope local voters will turn out at Eastern Gateway Community College when the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce conducts its political forum.
Scheduled to participate in the forum, which will be held in the college's lecture hall, will be incumbent Jefferson County Commissioner David C. Maple Jr. and his challenger, Robert Steve Vukelic; incumbent commissioner Thomas G. Gentile and his challenger, Craig "Billy" Petrella II; U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, and his Democratic challenger in Ohio's 6th Congressional District, former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson; and current state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and his Republican challenger in Ohio's 30th State Senate District, Shane Thompson.
Those candidates have the opportunity to answer questions posed from a panel of area media representatives as well as answer questions submitted by those in attendance.
Area residents will have the opportunity meet the candidates from 5:15 p.m. until the forum begins at 6 p.m. In addition, representatives from the City of Steubenville, the Indian Creek Local School District, the Edison Local School District, the Buckeye Local School District and the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School have been invited to attend, meet with members of the public and hand out information about their issues.
For those unable to make it to the community college Thursday, a webcast of the forum will be available.
The forum offers a chance for local voters to see where the candidates stand on the issues that will affect us far beyond the Nov. 6 election.
It's an event that all area residents should make an effort to be a part of.