STEUBENVILLE - The way Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce President Sue Hershey sees it, voting is critical - and casting an informed vote even more so.
That's the reason the chamber is sponsoring a political forum from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the main lecture hall on Eastern Gateway Community College's Steubenville campus.
Among those scheduled to participate are Dave Maple, Robert "Steve" Vukelic, Thomas G. Gentile and Craig "Billy" Petrella II, candidates for Jefferson County commissioner; Charlie Wilson, Democratic candidate for the 6th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives; and incumbent state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and Republican Shane Thompson, candidates for state senator from the 30th District. The participation of incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, who is seeking re-election to the 6th District seat has not been confirmed.
Candidates will be have to respond to questions asked by a panel of media representatives.
Representatives also will be on hand to discuss the various local levies/issues that will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
"Early ballots will be sent out Oct. 1," Hershey said. "We encourage people to attend the forum and ask questions ... .so their vote is an informed vote. Informed voting is critical to our Democratic process. We encourage the public to participate fully in the electoral process."
Doors open to the public at 5:15 p.m. so voters can meet their candidates. They'll also be available after the forum.
"The chamber is pleased to have this opportunity to invite the candidates to share their positions on issues and to inform the public of their qualifications for the office they're seeking," Hershey added. "We're anticipating a good response from the public."