Community Organizations to Sponsor Joint Candidate Forums

Oct 2, 2020

Credit KSMU file photo

A coalition of well-known community organizations will host a series of candidate and ballot issue forums ahead of the November 3 election. Candidates in selected races in the Springfield region have been invited to participate. 

Each organization will host or co-host a forum. All events are virtual and open to the public; registration may be limited. KSMU plans to broadcast some of the forums at later dates. 

Lisa Langley, who organized the group as a representative of the League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri, said many of the 10 organizations share the goal of voter education and voter turnout so it made sense to work together. “Voters often don’t vote because they feel they don’t know or understand what’s on the ballot,” Langley explained. “Participating in these forums will give voters information they need to make educated choices on November 3."

The scheduled forums are:
State Representative, District 132--Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m., incumbent Crystal Quade (D) vs. Sarah Semple (R). Hosted by NAACP Springfield and MSU’s Office of Public Affairs

State Representative, District 134--Oct. 8, 5 p.m., Alex Riley (R) vs. Derrick Nowlin (D). Hosted by League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri

State Representative, District 135--Oct. 8, 7 p.m., incumbent Steve Helms (R) vs. Betsy Fogle (D). Hosted by Junior League of Springfield

Pro-Con Forum on Amendment 3--Oct. 14, 7 p.m., with Senate sponsor of Amendment 3 Senator Dan Hegeman (R), and No on 3 campaign director Sean Soendker-Nicholson. Hosted by Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

The forum coalition decided not to hold the following three forums as these candidates declined to participate: 

Billy Long (R) incumbent, U.S. Representative, District 7 declined. (Opponents Teresa Montseny (D) and Kevin Craig (Libertarian) accepted the invitation.)

Curtis Trent (R) incumbent, State Representative, District 133 declined. (Opponent Cindy Slimp (D) accepted the invitation.)

Craig Fishel (R) incumbent, State Representative, District 136 declined. (Opponent Jeff Munzinger (D) accepted the invitation.)

To obtain links to the four forums, visit lwvswmo.org/news or thelibrary.org.

The 10 sponsoring organizations are:

  • Be Civil, Be Heard community program
  • Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship
  • Junior League of Springfield
  • KSMU Radio
  • Leadership Springfield
  • League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri
  • Missouri State University’s Office of Public Affairs
  • NAACP Springfield
  • Ozarks Technical Community College’s Social Sciences Department and nonpartisan student organization Politically Active 
  • Springfield-Greene County Library District

Links to candidate forums:

State Representative, District 132—Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m. Democratic incumbent Crystal Quade and Republican candidate Sarah Semple. Hosted by NAACP Springfield and MSU’s Office of Public Affairs
https://publicaffairs.missouristate.edu/candidate-and-issues-forum-fall-2020.htm

State Representative, District 134—Oct. 8, 5 p.m., Republican candidate Alex Riley and Democratic candidate Derrick Nowlin. Hosted by League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82847805788?pwd=ZktEajd6SFdlaUtlRDFaSVNndUhoQT09

State Representative, District 135—Oct. 8, 7 p.m., Republican incumbent Steve Helms and Democratic candidate Betsy Fogle. Hosted by Junior League of Springfield via Facebook Live
https://www.facebook.com/JLSpringfield

Ballot Issue Pro-Con Forum on Amendment 3—Oct. 14, 6 p.m., with Senate sponsor of Amendment 3 Sen. Dan Hegeman (R) and No on 3 campaign director Sean Soendker-Nicholson. Hosted by Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship
https://www.drury.edu/amendment3-forum