Though early voting began last week for the Aug. 21 primary election, Teton County residents willing to restrain their civic passion will have the chance to hear from candidates in person.
The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, as well as a coalition that includes the League of Women Voters, the Jackson Hole News&Guide, KHOL, WyoFile and Teton County Library, have scheduled a number of candidate forums in the weeks before the primary and general elections.
The chamber will host Town Council candidates from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Aug. 2 in the Snow King Hotel’s Grand Teton Room. Candidates for the Teton County Board of County Commissioners will meet at the same time and place Aug. 3. The Q&A sessions about “crucial issues that impact Jackson’s business environment” cost $16 for chamber members and $25 for others.
The following week, the League of Women Voters, the library and media partners, including the News&Guide, will bring county commission candidates to the library’s Ordway Auditorium at 7 p.m. Aug. 8. Town Council candidates will meet at the same time and place Aug. 9. The moderated forums aim to “provide a nonpartisan environment in which ideas can be debated in a civil and even-handed manner.”
“It’s an opportunity for citizens to hear directly from the candidates on local issues and ask questions,” said Karen Jerger, of the Wyoming League of Women Voters. “It’s all about supporting a living democracy.”
Uncontested primary candidates will be invited to give short statements. At the Aug. 8 forum, that includes Republican candidates for county commission and candidates for Teton County sheriff. At the Aug. 9 forum, candidates for Wyoming House District 16 can speak.
The League of Women Voters will also host a forum for House District 22 candidates Marti Halverson and Bill Winney, competing in the Republican primary, at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Alpine Civic Center.
As the Nov. 6 general election approaches, another series of forums will allow locals to meet and question candidates.
The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and Buckrail will bring Town Council, county commission and district hopefuls to Handfire Pizza at 6 p.m. Oct. 3 for candidate speed dating, during which locals can talk one-on-one with candidates for a few minutes each.
The Jackson Hole News&Guide will give voters a chance to question county commission candidates at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at The Rose, and Town Council candidates at the same time and place Oct. 25.
The League of Women Voters, the library and local media will host another round of forums Oct. 11, 15, 22 and 24 in the Ordway Auditorium.