Tempers flare at final Mathews candidate forum

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Nov 02, 2011 - 04:05 PM

Photo: All the local candidates for Mathews County offices took part in last Wednesday’s forum at the Piankatank Ruritan Club building in Hudgins. Those in attendance were, front row from left, Jen Little, Lanell Jarvis, Deanna Harris, Wendy Stewart, Les Hall; second row, Jeanice Sadler, Robert Sherrill, Haskins Ramos, Charles Ingram, Janine Burns; third row, John Persinger, Patrick Beattie, Jack Gill, Doug Critchell, Edwina Casey; back row, Danny Howlett, Ruth Litschewski, Tom Bowen, Mark Barrick and Ray Hunley. All 20 candidates were given 10 minutes to address the large crowd at the club building. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

All the local candidates for Mathews County offices took part in last Wednesday’s forum at the Piankatank Ruritan Club building in Hudgins. Those in attendance were, front row from left, Jen Little, Lanell Jarvis, Deanna Harris, Wendy Stewart, Les Hall; second row, Jeanice Sadler, Robert Sherrill, Haskins Ramos, Charles Ingram, Janine Burns; third row, John Persinger, Patrick Beattie, Jack Gill, Doug Critchell, Edwina Casey; back row, Danny Howlett, Ruth Litschewski, Tom Bowen, Mark Barrick and Ray Hunley. All 20 candidates were given 10 minutes to address the large crowd at the club building. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

In a marathon forum last Wednesday night at the Piankatank Ruritan Club building, Mathews candidates received one last chance to let county voters know where they stand on the issues, as well as take part in one final bit of public mudslinging.

A total of 20 candidates running for commissioner of the revenue, board of supervisors, sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, treasurer and school board all took part in the freewheeling campaign event, with each given 10 minutes to introduce themselves to the capacity crowd and make any other statement they wished.

As politicians are often wont to do, most of the candidates took full advantage of the allotted time, and, following a question-and-answer period, audience members and candidates walked away a little bleary eyed at around 11 p.m., four hours after the program began.

Perhaps due to the length of the program, or possibly because it was the last opportunity to make a public statement before the Nov. 8 election, some of the candidates got a little testy with one another, while there were also a few pointed questions from audience members.