Elkton, August 17, 2010 — This evening the Cecil County Branch of the NAACP sponsored a candidate’s forum at Wrights AME Church in Elkton. In the packed sanctuary, over 125 people listened attentively for nearly three hours as some 30 candidates for local and state offices made campaign pitches. Each aspirant was limited to three minutes by the forum moderator, Elkton Commissioner Charles Givens, who skillfully kept things moving along throughout the well executed program.
Considering time limitations, a few speakers were downright informative and entertaining, while many pitched solid cases outlining why they should receive consideration. Others took the approach of talking about their organizational affiliations and how that contributed to the community or how many generations their family resided in Cecil. If time remained, they added a few general remarks. When the turn came for those vying for state wide-office, the Libertarian candidate for governor, Susan Gaztanaga and her running mate, Doug McNeil, spelled out their stance on things. Doug Gansler, the Maryland Attorney General, also attended.
Beyond that it was contestants for the General Assembly and county offices. The race for a seat as county commissioner turned out the most office-seekers, although Ted Kolodzey and Diana Broomell weren’t there. In the competitive sheriff’s race, Barry Janney was the only one not to attend. In addition, other offices such as State’ Attorney, Treasurer, Clerk of the Court, and Register of Wills were well represented. By 9:30 the question and answer session was drawing to a close so people made their way into the church hall for light refreshments and mingling with candidates.
This was an informative, direct opportunity for voters to hear candidates making their best pitch. We found it helpful in this election season since there are so many people running for office, it’s hard to sort out the positions of the office hopefuls. Congratulations to the Cecil County Branch of the NAACP for sponsoring this forum. It did help voters sort through the choices. Also the excellent turnout the organization achieved at a historic old church in Elkton shows the interest as the day for heading to the polls near.