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Local elections are critical; candidate forums can help inform voters

While much of the focus is on national politics as we get closer to the Nov. 3 election, it’s critical to stay informed and engaged regarding local elections, as these elected officials shape our communities and our everyday lives.

Due to this, the Marquette County League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization, is hosting two virtual candidate forums to help inform area residents about candidates for local offices.

“We are doing our best, as many other local groups and organizations are, to meet the challenges of conducting our work virtually,” said Darlene Allen, president of the local League of Women Voters, in a news release. “We expect the recordings to be available sometime the day following each of the recording sessions for the forums.”

A Marquette City Commission candidate forum was recorded on Wednesday, while a forum for Marquette County Sheriff candidates is scheduled to be recorded on Thursday. The forums will include opening statements from each of the candidates, questions submitted in advance by area and closing statements by the candidates.

With six candidates — Margaret Brumm, Jessica Hanley, Cody Mayer, Mike Plourde and incumbents Paul Schloegel and Fred Stonehouse — running for the three open seats on the Marquette City Commission, we encourage Marquette city residents to watch the forum. With such a large field of candidates, it’s critical to learn more about each candidate’s plans and perspectives on issues facing the city, as well as their backgrounds and personalities.

We also encourage all Marquette County voters to watch the candidate forum for Marquette County Sheriff candidates Joseph Kozub and incumbent Gregory Zyburt. This forum is an excellent opportunity to find out more about what each envisions for a four-year term as sheriff and gauge their responses to voter-submitted questions.

We commend the Marquette County League of Women Voters for continuing to provide this resource for voters amid the pandemic, as our voters and candidates are certain to shape the future of our area.

We also highly encourage readers to check out the LWV’s vote411.org website, which can help voters register, find their polling place, learn what’s on their ballot and browse local candidate responses to questions prepared by the LWV.

To view the recordings, which organizers said will be posted as soon as possible after each forum, visit the League of Women Voters of Marquette County Facebook page or its website at lwvmqt.org.

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