Next Tuesday, July 15, marks the first of four upcoming primary election forums hosted by the Winona chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV). Free and open to the public, the forums are a chance for Winona-area voters to ask questions and get to know each of the candidates running for Winona County Auditor–Treasurer, Winona City Council Ward 4, Winona County Commissioner District 2, and Winona County Sheriff.
“We provide an opportunity for Winona-area residents to hear candidates discuss important issues face-to-face,” explained Lori Ortega, secretary and program chair of the Minnesota League of Women Voters–Winona Unit.
All forums will be held in the council chambers at Winona City Hall, located at Fourth and Lafayette streets. Residents will also be able to watch the forums live on local cable government access channels, HBC channel 19, and Charter channel 987.
“The primary election forums are simply a way to educate the Winona-area community about the upcoming elections,” said Ortega, who estimates the live and televised forum audience to be in the thousands. “We work to educate, engage and empower Minnesotans to have their voices heard.”
The public is invited to ask questions by one of three ways: attending a forum, calling in live with a question, or handing in a question to a league member sometime prior to the event. “There are really no barriers [to submitting a question],” Ortega explained. “[We only ask that the questions] not be hostile, partisan, embarrassing, inappropriate or of a personal nature. What is left are topic questions that are important to Winona residents.”
Ortega mentioned that one topic may be frac sand mining, but submitted questions could cover a variety of topics. “We have people trained as moderators and [we will sort questions beforehand to] recognize fair, appropriate questions and to look out for duplicates,” she said.
The following is the schedule for the four upcoming forums:
• Winona County Auditor–Treasurer forum on Tuesday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m.
• Winona City Council Ward 4 on Tuesday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m.
• Winona County Commissioner District 2 on Wednesday, July 23 at 6:00 p.m.
• Winona County Sheriff on Wednesday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Please contact Lori Ortega at 507-474-6555 for more information about the primary election forums.