House candidates face off in forum

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jul 20, 2011 - 04:26 PM

Photo: atesby Jones, Keith Hodges, Sherwood Bowditch and Ken Gibson, from left, all seeking the Republican nomination for the 98th District House of Delegates seat, faced off during a forum Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse, along with Tappahannock resident Andrew Shoukas, right, who is the Democratic nominee for the seat. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

atesby Jones, Keith Hodges, Sherwood Bowditch and Ken Gibson, from left, all seeking the Republican nomination for the 98th District House of Delegates seat, faced off during a forum Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse, along with Tappahannock resident Andrew Shoukas, right, who is the Democratic nominee for the seat. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Residents from across Virginia’s 98th District packed into Gloucester’s colonial courthouse Tuesday night to hear for the first time from those seeking the House of Delegates seat currently held by Harvey Morgan.

Topics ranged from broadband internet access to education to state funding of public broadcasting and more. Morgan is not seeking reelection.

The forum was organized by Lorraine Walsh, a Gloucester resident who said she felt it was important to give voters a chance to hear from potential candidates early on. It was moderated by Gloucester resident Warren Deal.

Gloucester residents Sherwood Bowditch, Ken Gibson, and Catesby Jones, and Urbanna resident Keith Hodges, all seeking the Republican nomination for the seat, faced off, along with Tappahannock resident Andrew Shoukas, who is the Democratic nominee. Voters will be able to choose between the four GOP candidates during a Republican primary Aug. 23.

Each candidate was given an opportunity for opening and closing statements and each answered about a half-dozen questions submitted by members of the audience during the two-hour forum.

First up was Shoukas, who said he is running because it would be his opportunity to give something back to the community.