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Two candidate forums over two weeks for Nov. 4 general election

By Staff | Oct 18, 2008

The Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce will be presenting a Candidates Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the First Baptist Church on Coronado Parkway.

The forum will feature candidates from all the major local races, including Lee County Sheriff, County Board of Commissioners, Mosquito Control, Lee Memorial Hospital Board, U.S. House of Representatives 14th Congressional District, and County Property Appraiser.

The Chamber is expecting 150 to 200 residents to attend this free event, which gives people the opportunity to see their representatives up close and personal as they answer questions from a moderator.

“We try not to overload people,” said Chamber Communication Director Donna Germain. “We want the people to get some basic and key issues from the candidates.”

Germain said the majority of candidates from all the races have confirmed their appearance on the 21st, with commission and sheriff candidates having already announced their presence. Germain added that candidates from the Lee Memorial Hospital Board and the Mosquito Control District as still up in the air.

“We’ve got just about every candidate that’s running,” she said. “We’re trying to get as many as we can.”

The format will divide the the six races into two sets of three, with timed questions being delivered by a moderator. After each three-race set, candidates will then take questions from the audience.

“We include everybody that will somehow affect our area. It’s a big race, and we’re trying to give everybody a chance to reach out the public,” Germain added.

The title sponsor of the event is Servpro of Cape Coral. Other sponsors include Breeze Newspapers, the News-Press, WFTX-FOX4, Larmar Advertising and Silpada Designs.

Another forum also is shaping up in the Cape, as the Cape Coral Civic Association has it forum planned a week later on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The list of candidates at Civic Association’s forum won’t be as extensive as the previous forum, but will feature all candidates from the county commission, sheriff, and property appraiser’s race.

“This is called Survivor’s Night,” said Civic Association Vice President Ralph LaPera. “These are all the candidates that made it through the primaries.”

That particular forum runs from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, with former city councilmember Alex LaPera serving as moderator.

The Chamber hosted a similar forum last month featuring, among others, the race for U.S. House, District 14, and the Lee County Hospital Board.

As far the chamber goes, though the forum doesn’t start till 5:30 p.m., Germain advised showing up early. Refreshments will be also be available, courtesy of Cohen and Cohen Catering.

“People can show up as early as five or five-fifteen. Cohen and Cohen are putting out a wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvers because its right after work,” Germain said.

For more information on the Chamber of Commerce forum, contact Donna Germain at 239-549-6900 ext. 107, and for more info on the Civic Association’s forum call Ralph LaPera at 239-574-6112.