News

Fairfield Chamber plans pair of candidate forums

Phil Miller, left, and Jeff Shipley participate in a candidate forum in October 2018 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. The two will be among those featured in a pair of candidate forums the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce is planning for Oct. 6-7 at the arts center. (Union archive photo)
Phil Miller, left, and Jeff Shipley participate in a candidate forum in October 2018 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. The two will be among those featured in a pair of candidate forums the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce is planning for Oct. 6-7 at the arts center. (Union archive photo)
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FAIRFIELD – The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce is planning two candidate forums for early October.

The forums will be on consecutive nights at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, Tuesday, Oct. 6, and Wednesday, Oct. 7. Times for the forums have not been determined.

The first forum will feature the two candidates for Jefferson County sheriff, Republican Bart Richmond and Democrat Tracy Vance.

Later that evening, residents will hear from the three candidates for Jefferson County supervisor, Republicans Dee Sandquist and Nick Adam, and Democrat Susie Drish. Those three are running for two seats on the board. Sandquist is up for re-election, and Supervisor Lee Dimmitt is stepping down after 12 years on the job.

The following night, residents will hear from the candidates for state offices, two Iowa House races and one Iowa Senate race. The two Iowa House races are between Republican incumbent Jeff Shipley and Democratic challenger Phil Miller for Iowa House District 82, and between Republican incumbent Joe Mitchell and Democratic challenger Jeff Fager for Iowa House District 84.

The Senate race is for District 42 between incumbent Democrat Rich Taylor and Republican challenger Jeff Reichman.

Chamber Executive Director Darien Sloat said he’s working with Jason Strong of the Fairfield Media Center to livestream the event. He’s not sure if the event will allow an in-person audience or not. He said it depends on the state of the pandemic in early October and whether the arts center feels comfortable hosting an audience. He said it’s possible the event will only be accessible over the radio or online. If the arts center does allow an audience, Sloat said people will likely be separated from each other by being asked to sit a few seats apart or with a row of seats in between them.

Residents can begin submitting questions for the event now by emailing Sloat at ceo@fairfieldiowa.com, or by calling the Chamber at 641-472-2111. If an audience is allowed, Sloat said residents would probably have to submit their questions in the atrium before the event, because once they are in the Sondheim Theater, they will be discouraged from walking around.

Sloat said questions should be addressed to all candidates in the race instead of calling out a particular candidate.

The arts center’s new executive director who started in August, Lindsay Bauer, will moderate the forums.

The forum is being organized by the chamber, Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and Fairfield Economic Development Association. Its presenting sponsor is Freeman Kevenides Law Firm.