Election season means it’s time for candidate forums

Since taking office in March 2021, I’ve been looking forward to (or maybe dreading) my first election season as FLORIDA TODAY’s Engagement Editor.

What not to expect, right? I mean, there will be phone calls about missing campaign signs, incessant campaign mail stuck in my mailbox, allegations of fraud (even on bogus polls), horrible TV ads, postings about social media tagging me “proving” some sort of wrongdoing by one candidate or another, or “proof” that a candidate doesn’t live where they’re supposed to live, etc.

But despite this, I realize (especially on this 4th of July weekend) how lucky I am to be born in this country where we all have the right to go and vote for the person we would like to see in office.

There are many on this planet who are not as lucky as us and some even go to war for the right to vote that we have and often take for granted.

That said, when it comes to local races, how do you know who to vote for?

Glad you asked, because that’s where we come in. I am pleased to announce that FLORIDA TODAY – in conjunction with the League of Women Voters – will be bringing you a series of candidate forums, which may eventually turn into debates, starting in the coming weeks.

Why so early?

Well, the majority of local elections will be decided in the August 23 primary. This means that we would like to provide you with the information you need before the early voting period begins on August 13 and ends on August 20.

The main focus will be on countywide races like the school board, where three school board seats are up for grabs, as well as two Brevard County Commission district seats. We can try to do other errands if the weather permits.

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And while statewide races may grab headlines, we’ve seen how volatile and important school board meetings have become over the past couple of years. It can be argued that the country’s social wars are being fought at school board meetings and, to some extent, county board meetings.

I will serve as moderator, and possibly referee, for the forums.

I have a list of topics and I’m formulating a few questions—but I’d also like to hear from you. Email me at [email protected] and let me know what issues you would like to see our school board and county commissioner candidates address.

Contact Torres at 321-242-3684 or [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter @johnalbertorres or on Facebook at facebook.com/FTjohntorres.

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