Sullivan Central hosting forum for nine BOE candidates

Rick Wagner • Jul 7, 2012 at 9:43 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Nine hopefuls for four Sullivan County Board of Education seats are scheduled to attend a forum Tuesday at Sullivan Central High School.

A newly formed parent group at the school put together the event, which predates the Aug. 2 county general election and early voting, which starts July 13 and ends July 28.

The Sullivan County BOE election forum will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Little Theater of Central High School, off Exit 66 of Interstate 81.

Melissa Griffin of the Central PTSA said the forum is the first one ever sponsored by the newly formed PTSA. She said all nine candidates across four contested races — in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 — have indicated they will attend. The doors will open at 6 p.m. The moderator will be state PTA President Karen Davis of the Nashville area, asking questions prepared beforehand as well as written questions from the audience as time allows.

“It’s to get good information out there,” PTSA President Elaine Cuddihee said Friday. “A lot of people don’t know who the candidates are.”

The candidates are seeking nonpartisan positions for four-year terms. Cuddihee said the PTSA, the first parent group at Central in five years, wanted to provide a community service with the forum.

Cuddihee said a committee already has put together the questions to be asked first, but she hopes there will be time left for submitted written questions from the audience to be asked.

In District 1, incumbent Jack Bales faces a challenge from newcomer Heather Prices.

In District 3, incumbent Jim Kiss faces a challenge from newcomer Todd Broughton.

In District 5, incumbent Ron Smith, who was elected president of the board, faces two challengers, newcomers Randall Jones and Anissa Lyttle.

And in District 7, incumbent Betty Combs faces a challenge from newcomer Michael Hughes.

The other three seats on the board are not up for election this year. The Aug. 2 winners are to take office Sept. 1, joining Jerry Greene, Robyn Ivester and Dan Wells.

For more information on the forum contact Cuddihee at ecuddihee@gmail.com.

Also on the Aug. 2 ballot will be constable races and two judge retention questions.

For more information on the election and the ballot go to the Sullivan County Election Commission Web site at www.scelect.org/.

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