Public demand to see the candidates for sheriff in a May 21 debate has led to a venue change by the Wise County Republican Party.
Party officials announced the change in a statement Tuesday. The event will be moved from the Wise County School Board meeting room to Central High School’s auditorium “due to overwhelming response.”
Attendance before the change had been limited to ticket holders only, with free tickets through Eventbrite nearly gone. As of Wednesday night, more than 500 tickets were available.
The debate, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m., will see Assistant Sheriff Grant Kilgore — endorsed by retiring Sheriff R.D. Oakes — Coeburn Police Chief Scott Brooks, and attorney and Pound police officer Tim McAfee answering questions about their qualifications and public concerns. Former Washington County, Va., Sheriff Fred Newman will moderate the event.
Tickets for the debate can be obtained free at www.eventbrite.com.
Wise County Republicans will hold a firehouse primary at 9 a.m. June 1 at Norton Elementary School to determine its candidate lineup.
In Lee County, Democrats will see an extension to Thursday to nominate candidates for the November general election. According to county Democrat Chair Roberta Thacker-Oliver, the Democratic Party Committee voted April 22 to move its deadline to file for nominations to 5 p.m. on May 2.
As of the original April 22 deadline, only incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Fuller Cridlin and District Three Supervisor Larry Mosley filed paperwork to seek the nomination in their races. The nominating caucus runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.
The state deadline for filing candidacy papers for the Nov. 5 election is June 11 at 7 p.m.