Times to hold sheriff candidate forum May 1

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Hopefuls vying to become Wilson County’s next sheriff will share their ideas and answer voters’ questions a week before the May 8 primaries.

The Wilson Times is hosting a 2018 sheriff candidate forum from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at Wilson Community College’s DelMastro Auditorium. Admission is free and seating is first-come, first-served.

All three Democrats who will square off in the primary — incumbent Calvin Woodard Jr. and challengers Chris Boykin and Dinise Williams — are scheduled to participate. Republican candidate Kevin Raper, who will be on the ballot in November, is also invited but has not said whether he plans to attend.

“Our community is invested in the future of local law enforcement, and we want to help the voters connect with the candidates seeking to lead the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office,” said Times General Manager Keven Zepezauer. “It’s important that Wilson residents are familiar with all the candidates and feel confident that they can make an informed choice on Election Day.”

The Times, which is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates for public office, held a sheriff candidate forum in 2014 and a Wilson City Council forum in 2017.

Editor Corey Friedman will serve as moderator and Olivia Neeley, the newspaper’s public safety reporter, will be the timekeeper. After several preliminary questions from the Times, the floor will be open for audience questions.

“We considered asking attendees to submit questions in advance and reading them from the stage, but we decided that would interfere with voters’ ability to interact with the candidates,” Zepezauer said. “While we’re proud to facilitate the forum, we want this to be an initiative of the citizens, not just The Wilson Times. We’re also grateful to Wilson Community College for partnering with us to bring the community together.”

Each candidate will have the opportunity to answer each question and responses will be timed.

For those unable to attend, live video from the forum will be streamed on The Wilson Times’ Facebook page.

For more information, call 252-265-7813 or email editor@wilsontimes.com.