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Barbour candidates debate issues

October 12, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

Many of the candidates listed on the Barbour County Nov. 6 election ballot met at Philip Barbour High School Thursday evening to discuss the issues in front of a local crowd.

Dozens of residents from the surrounding area turned out to listen to incumbents and challengers running for offices at the county, state and federal level.

"All the local candidates were extended an invitation to attend," said Mike Cvechko, the moderator of the event.

Each candidate was given three minutes to address the crowd. Following the introductions, anonymous written questions were taken from the audience.

Incumbent Democrat Mary Poling and Republican challenger John Rose, facing off in the race for the 47th Delegate District seat, both spoke at Thursday's event.

They each answered the question, "What are the two distinct differences between you and your opponent?"

"The vast experience I have with the legislative process," Poling said.

"I believe in people politics and I believe my opponent believes in party politics," Rose responded.

All three candidates in the race for Barbour County Commissioner - incumbent Republican Phil Hart, Democrat Dana Booth and Independent Susie Phillips - were present at the forum.

Hart garnered applause with his answer to the question, "What is your plan in the next six years to bring jobs to Barbour County?"

"We need to promote what we have," Hart said. "Let's maintain and support the businesses we have today."

"We need to advertise Barbour County," Booth responded.

In her opening statement, Phillips was quick to mention her dedication and work ethic.

"When I start something I am there until I'm finished," she said.

In the race for county sheriff, incumbent Democrat John Hawkins told the crowd that, in his re-election campaign, he has gone door-to-door less this year because he is committed to the demands of his position.

Hawkins will square off in the election against Republican challenger Jody Haller, who was not present Thursday.

Incumbent Republican John Cutright, who is unopposed in his re-election bid for Barbour County assessor, spoke at Thursday's event.

Also in attendance was incumbent Democrat Leckta Poling, who is running for re-election as Barbour's prosecuting attorney.

Republican Brian Sevilla, who is running for Secretary of State, was the only candidate for state office to attend. He is challenging incumbent Democrat Natalie Tennant, who was not present.

Democrat challenger Sue Thorn, running for the 1st Congressional District seat, was the only candidate at the federal level to take part in the forum. Incumbent Republican David McKinley was not in attendance.

The forum was sponsored by the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce and the Barbour County Senior Center.

Contact Casey Houser by email at



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