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Plazas to moderate political forum Oct. 10
David Plazas.png
David Plazas

Award-winning journalist David Plazas will serve as moderator for a political forum here Oct. 10, offering voters a close-up view of candidates, their personalities and governing philosophies.

The event will start at 6 p.m. at the Warren County administrative building, 201 Locust Street. The public is invited to attend, although seating will limited, said Southern Standard publisher Patricia Zechman. Candidates for local offices as well the state and federal elections Nov. 8 have been invited to participate free of charge.

Organized by The Southern Standard newspaper and McMinnville Public Radio 91.3-WCPI, the voter-education program will be the latest in the series of broadcast forums that began with the media collaboration more than 20 years ago.  

“This public service project supports the very foundation of American democracy, bringing candidates and ideas together in open, unfettered debate of important issues,” said Dr. Norman Rone, WCPI’s owner-operator, the non-profit Warren County Education Foundation.

In addition to the individual candidates in various races, the forum invited the major opponents in a special referendum on amending the Tennessee state Constitution.  The issue, which will appears as Question 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot, asks if voters want to add a so-called “right to work” provision in the state’s governing charter.

Of those opponents, only the Tennessee AFL-CIO opted to participate as of the registration deadline at 2 p.m. Thursday.  

The opposing organization, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, did not respond, according to Standard managing editor Seth Wright.

Forum moderator Plazas is Opinion and Engagement director for the USA Today Network Tennessee, overseeing publications both large and small, including the Memphis Commercial Appeal, The Tennessean, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.  A frequent and effective moderator for public forums across the state, he leads the Tennessean’s Civility Tennessee campaign on civic engagement in a rational, data-informed, mutually respectful dialogue.