For the first time, The Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce will host a political forum for candidates for state offices.
The forum will be part of the Chamber’s Business@Breakfast series and is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Murray Room inside Murray State University’s CFSB Center. Chamber President/CEO Lance Allison said the event would give candidates for state senate and state representative an opportunity to speak to local chamber members about important issues facing the state.
Allison said the candidates would hopefully be able to cover many issues related to business. The candidates for state senate, District 1, are Democrat Carroll Hubbard and Republican Stan Humphries. Candidates for state representative, District 5, are Republican Kenny Imes and Democrat Hal Kemp.
In 2010, the Chamber hosted a Business@Breakfast for the purpose of staging a forum for Murray mayoral candidates Bill Wells and Butch Seargent. Allison said that as far as he knew, the Oct. 30 event would be only the second political forum the chamber has hosted and the first to feature candidates for state office. He said he thought it was especially important this year to give the candidates an opportunity to talk to the business community about their platforms because Republican Sen. Ken Winters and Democratic Rep. Melvin Henley, both of Murray, had both decided to retire once their current terms end this year.
“We did a mayor debate in 2010, but that’s the only time we’ve done it before,” Allison said. “So I thought with a changeover completely — you know, somebody new is going to be in both those offices — I thought it would be neat to do it again. I’m going to take questions from members so we’re not just doing plank speeches, so that we maybe can get some answers.
“Hopefully, they might be business-related questions that they could answer to kind of give the business community a feel of where they stand. So we’re in the process of taking questions. We’re not guaranteeing we’re going to use them all, we just want to get as many as we can to see what we can do with them.”
Allison said that with four candidates at the forum, the breakfast would likely take longer than usual, so it is scheduled to last until 8:45 a.m.