Lawrence County Republican Party Candidates Forum Scheduled For May 21

(BEDFORD) – A Lawrence County Republican Party Candidates Forum is scheduled for May 21.

Due to COVID-19, the forum will be held virtually.

Those participating in the event include the following candidates:

  • Lawrence County Superior Court II – Bob Cline and Kirsten Collier
  • Commissioner District 3 – Gene McCracken and Wally Branham
  • Auditor – Penny Cobb, Jessica Staggs, and Paula Stewart
  • Treasurer – Jody Edwards and Rebecca McCracken
  • Council At-Large – Rick Butterfield, Julie Blackwell Chase, Jim Edwards, Robert Herr, Gerald “Jerry” Hill, James Howell, Morgan W. Lee, Julie Johnson Hewetson, Bill Matthews

The forum will be broadcast live on WBIW 1340 AM. You can also listen to the event via stream or on our Facebook page.

The purpose of the format is to offer Republican candidates the opportunity to express and discuss their positions and views on matters of importance in the upcoming Primary Election.

The event will be held at Brinegar Hall, at Stonegate.

Krystal Shetler, a reporter for the Times Mail newspaper; and Sean Duncan, radio personality of Super Oldies 105.5 WQRK; will moderate a question and answer session beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This event is intended to present the opportunity for Republican candidates to introduce themselves and to present their ideas for the office each is seeking. This event is not intended to be a back and forth, “gotcha moment” style debate.

While some questions and answers may draw out differences in point of view, this is not intended to be a confrontation style debate.

Each candidate will be given 3 minutes for opening statements. The order will be set by how candidates are placed on the ballot prior to the start of the event. A timer will be provided to keep track of the time used and to provide notice to speakers of time limits. There will be warnings from the timekeeper using yellow and red cards. Yellow is halfway and red is time expired.

The moderators will ask prepared questions of each candidate, and each candidate will have 2 minutes to answer each question.

The candidates will receive one question 7 days in advance and one question live during the forum. One question will be asked on the fly and the candidate will not receive that question in advance.

The public can submit a limited number of questions, which, if selected, will be read to the candidates by one of the moderators. Each candidate will be given 2 minutes to answer.

These questions will be submitted by email and vetted before being read to the candidates. No one will be given the floor to simply start “firing” questions at the candidates. The questions must be relevant to the discussion. Candidates will have no prior knowledge of the questions beforehand. However, there will be no “gotcha questions”.

The public can submit questions at

Hopeful that the event can be fully concluded in under 21/2 hours.