The League of Women Voters and WakeUP Wake County are switching their local candidates forums to a single “meet-and-greet” event in response to a boycott by the Republicans running for the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Both groups had invited the four Republican incumbents and their four Democratic challengers to attend three forums, in which candidates would answer a set of questions. But the GOP candidates declined to attend, saying organizers could not provide the impartial setting “needed for a full and fair discussion of local issues.”
In an email this week, WakeUP Wake Executive Director Karen Rindge said that the groups had to alter their plans because they couldn’t hold a true candidates forum with participation from only one party. Rindge said that instead of holding forums where the groups present questions to the candidates, the candidates will be invited to attend a single event and share information about themselves.
The meet-and-greet will be held Oct. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Ave. The event is free and open to the public with all candidates for Wake Board of Commissioners, district attorney, clerk of court, soil and water district, and sheriff invited to participate.
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Keep Crowder in your prayers
Knightdale Councilor James Roberson wished Raleigh city councilman Thomas Crowder well at the town’s council meeting Tuesday night, a few hours after Crowder announced he may have to resign because of health concerns.
Roberson implored Knightdale council and community members to keep Crowder and his family in their prayers during the town’s invocation.
Crowder announced at a Raleigh City Council meeting that his treatments for testicular cancer were not working and that he had exhausted all his treatment options.
Roberson said he doesn’t know Crowder personally but wanted to show support for a member of a group that has supported him.
Roberson is a faculty member at Wake Tech and chair of the African-American Cultural Festival governing board. He said the City of Raleigh has been a key sponsor of the event, which had its fifth festival last weekend.
“We’re just thankful we have a forward-thinking city council,” Roberson said. “We just wish (Crowder) the very best.”
Republicans endorse Battaglia
Durham County Republicans have endorsed a registered Democrat, attorney Fred Battaglia Jr., to unseat incumbent District Court Judge Nancy Gordon in this fall’s election.
“Electing Fred Battaglia will greatly increase the level of professionalism in Durham’s District Court,” the county GOP said in a formal statement.
Gordon finished slightly ahead of Battaglia in a three-candidate primary in May, winning 45.08 percent of the vote to his 44.66.
The GOP statement said the party was “happy to cross party lines to endorse such an excellent alternative.” It commented that Gordon received the lowest performance rating of any judge in North Carolina in the North Carolina Bar Association's 2014 Judicial Performance Evaluation Survey ( bit.ly/Z7lZsJ): 2.75 on a 5-point scale, based on a poll of attorneys. In the state bar’s rating of judicial candidates ( jpe.ncbar.org), Battaglia’s score was 4.34.
• The Wake Democratic Men’s Club will hear from several Democratic candidates for local office on Monday at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 320 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. Speakers include Wake commissioner candidates Sig Hutchinson, John Burns, Jessica Holmes, and Matt Calabria; Wake sheriff candidate Willie Rowe; Wake clerk of court candidate Sam Bridges and Wake County district attorney candidate Lorrin Freeman. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m.
• N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin, District Court Judge Paul Holcombe and other candidates for statewide judicial seats will speak to the Apex Peak Republican Club on Tuesday at the Loft at Anna’s Pizzeria in downtown Apex. Social starts at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Compiled by T. Keung Hui, Mechelle Hankerson and Jim Wise.
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