Over the summer, Talbot House Ministries is welcoming candidates for local political offices to discuss issues with residents and staff in a casual setting. These forums are intended to prepare registered voters to make informed decisions at the August 18 primary elections and stay engaged in the political process.

Congressional District 15 Democratic candidates Adam Hattersley and Jesse Philippe visited Talbot House Ministries for the first forum on July 7. All five candidates were invited to attend. Dr. Reddout stated: “I’m just proud that these two candidates – delighted, actually – that these two candidates came and they showed up, and they answered the questions that our folks had.”

Both candidates used narratives that support bipartisanship. Hattersley stated, “When I was driving that truck in Iraq, I didn’t care if the guy next to me was a Democrat or Republican, that is why I was never part of a political party until right before I decided to run for the state House.”  Philippe stated, “The average American is not divisive. We believe in the brother next to us. We don’t care if he’s white. We don’t care if he’s Black. The average American believes in people.” Residents asked questions about increasing employment, preventing homelessness, and discussed several other platforms with each candidate.

This week, Talbot House welcomed incumbent Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards and her opponent Debbie Hannifan. The panel was moderated by residents, and the discussion centered around ensuring fair elections for all citizens.

These forums are scheduled to continue over the summer; the list of confirmed attendees is below. Members of the media are welcome to attend these events.

July 21, 7:15-8:30 a.m.: Polk County Commission District 1 candidate George Lindsey (R).

July 28, 7:15-8:30 a.m.: Polk County Commission District 3 candidate Bill Braswell (R).

August 4, 7:15-8:30 a.m.: Polk County Commission District 5 candidates invited.

August 11, 7:15-8:30 a.m.: Polk County School Board candidates William Allen, Billy Townsend, Anita Carson, and Lori Cunningham.