The “Meet the Candidates” public forum for countywide races in the November general election is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15.
Several changes are in effect for this event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed at the state level to limit indoors gatherings to 10 people, according to Dan Yahraus, executive director of the Bryan Area Chamber of Commerce, which produces the event.
The forum will take place in the Bryan Board of Public Affairs meeting room in the Bryan Municipal Utilities office at 841 E. Edgerton St., Bryan. Attendance is restricted to the five candidates, a moderator, the executive directors of the Bryan and Montpelier chambers and two media members.
The five candidates running for countywide offices invited to participate are:
• In the sheriff’s race, two candidates square off — Republican Tom Kochert, the current sheriff, and write-in candidate Gary Mohre, who served as interim sheriff for about three months earlier this year.
• In the race for county commissioner for the term beginning Jan. 2, 2021, three candidates are on the ballot — incumbent Republican Lew Hilkert, Democrat Heather Freese and independent Jennifer King.
(Republican incumbent county commissioner Terry Rummel is also on the ballot for a term beginning Jan. 3, but is unopposed).
Yahraus said due to the 10-person restriction, the chamber is not able to extend an invitation to the two candidates in the race for Ohio House District 81 — incumbent Republican State Rep. Jim Hoops and challenger Janet Breneman, a write-in candidate.
While attendance is restricted, the community is invited to submit questions to the candidates at the Bryan Area Chamber of Commerce either by dropping them off at the office, 138 S. Lynn St., Bryan, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yahraus will review the questions and forward them to the moderator, who, he said, will remain anonymous until the evening of the event.
The Montpelier chamber also is taking questions by email at: email@example.com.
Yahraus said another reason for the new location is that the BPA meeting room is already wired for livestreaming the event on BMU cable by the BMU Communications Department. The event also will be recorded and available on BMU cable and YouTube.
The YouTube link, available after the Oct. 15 event, is: https://youtu.be/We-ZQc7f6mc.