Candidates vying to become San Luis Obispo County's next sheriff, incumbent Ian Parkinson and his challenger Greg Clayton, will face off on stage and respond to voter questions in a public candidate forum on Wednesday.
The forum hosted by the Latino Outreach Council in collaboration with the League of Women Voters, is the first in a series before the June election, when voters will make selections in a handful of county contests including district attorney, two judge seats, assessor, and two supervisor seats.
In each of those races, any candidate who wins more than 50 percent of the vote in June will win the seat. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, because there are more than two candidates or because of an overwhelming write-in campaign, the race will continue to the November election.
Forums will begin with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. and the two-hour forum will begin at 6 at the County Government Center's Board Chambers. Questions of the candidates will be selected from the audience and from those submitted at LOCSLOCounty@gmail.com or through the LOC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LatinoOutreachSLO
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LOC President Jacqueline Frederick will moderate. Spanish translation will be available. The event will be recorded and played on SLO-SPAN, and audio of the forum will be livestreamed.
"Civic engagement is really important. People need to be informed when they vote. We particularly want to have forums where Spanish translation is available so everyone's voices can be heard and everyone's questions can be answered," Frederick said.
About 22 percent of San Luis Obispo County is Hispanic.
Judicial candidates will participate in a forum April 25, and district attorney candidates will participate in a forum May 9. Both will be held at the County Government Center's Board Chambers.
Planning is underway for District 4 and District 2 supervisor candidate forums, Frederick said.
District 4 candidates Lynn Compton and Jimmy Paulding were tentatively scheduled to participate in a forum on Friday, April 13, but Frederick said she made the decision to cancel the event because it conflicted with a Nipomo Chamber of Commerce event.