Candidates get spotlight at League of Women Voters’ event

 

DOVER — Ellen O. Wasfi will be searching for answers at the League of Women Voters’ Candidates Night on Thursday, but it will be up to the community to come up with the questions.

The Candidates Night, which will be moderated by Ms. Wasfi, will take place from 7 until 9 p.m. in the Palmer Room of the Modern Maturity Center at 1121 Forrest Avenue.

The League of Women Voters is expecting 10 candidates to participate, including those running for Dover City Council in the First, Second and Third Districts, along with two candidates running for the Kent County Levy Court Second District seat.

Dover City Council President Timothy A. Slavin and Fourth District Councilman David L. Anderson are running unopposed in the city’s April 18 Municipal Election, but have both been invited to attend.

“Candidates Night is an opportunity for the candidates to answer questions provided directly from the voters,” said Ms. Wasfi, chair of the event. “There won’t be anybody posing questions except for the audience members.

“We will give them index cards and pencils when they come in. There will be League of Women Voters members who will be circulating throughout the evening and will collect questions and bring them to (me).”

Eight candidates for Dover City Council are expected to appear and answer questions at the event.

William T. Garfinkel, Matthew J. Lindell and Tanner Wm. Polce are all running for a First District seat.

Mr. Lindell said he is looking forward to the event as a forum to let the public know where he stands on the issues.

“I will be attending,” he said. “The League of Women Voters does the public a great service with events, such as the candidate debate night. The ability of citizens to hear from the candidates and ask questions of those same candidates represents the heart of the democratic process.

“I am excited to share my views on the serious issues impacting our community while having the chance address questions from the voters in the First District.”

James J. Galvin Jr. is taking on incumbent William F. Hare in the Second District and challengers Lance E. Moffa and Jane E. Rolles are going up against incumbent Fred A. Neil in the Third District.

Kent County Levy Court Second District candidates James “Jim” Hosfelt, a Republican, and Andrea Kreiner, a Democrat, are also expected to participate.

Mr. Hosfelt and Ms. Kreiner are facing off in a special election on March 21. The special election is being held because former Commissioner Bradley Eaby announced his resignation to take a job with the state.

Both Kent County candidates have said they enjoy every chance they can get to put their policies in front of the public.

“I like to go knock on doors and talk to people about the things that concern them in the county — I did that as well when I ran for city council,” said Mr. Hosfelt, who currently serves as a First District Dover City Councilman.

Said Ms. Kreiner, “I want to talk to a lot of people, meet them and learn their concerns and talk about how we can work together to make the county better.”

The League of Women Voters promised that Candidates Night will be a fast-running informative program.

“Candidates will have the opportunity to speak for three minutes in the initial part of the program to make introductory statements,” Ms. Wasfi said. “The rest of the evening they will each get one-minute to respond each question, with the opportunity for rebuttal.”

Ms. Wasfi said the League of Women Voters is required to abide by regulations of the Federal Elections Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for non-partisan groups sponsoring appearances for candidates for elective office,

Consequently, should there only be one candidate for a particular office at the event, the organization cannot provide the opportunity for him or her to address the audience in the formal debate.

The rule also applies to candidates who are running unopposed, such as Mr. Slavin and Mr. Anderson, though they are encouraged to attend the event and meet informally with constituents before and after the program.

Ms. Wasfi said the League of Women Voters is excited about the interest they have received from all of the candidates.

“All of the candidates have indicated that they will attend the debate,” she said. “Of course, we are disappointed when candidates do not appear because that limits the audience ability to hear their views and the views of his or her opponent should only two candidates be running for a particular office.”

Ms. Wasfi said Candidates Night should be interesting.

“These are questions that will be coming from people who are interested in city issues and are concerned about issues going on in the city,” she said. “I will really try to give questions with a broader range greater interest.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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