BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce typically hosts two ‘Meet the Candidates’ forums every election season.
After the spring one was cancelled due to COVID-19, it was uncertain whether or not the fall one would take place.
However, with COVID guidelines and mask requirements in place, candidates and voters were able to gather at Tamarack on Tuesday for a scaled-down version.
“We gave the candidates a chance to get out and let their constituents know what their positions are,” Chamber President and CEO Michelle Rotellini said. “There are so many issues right now, and so we felt it was important to do, and we just needed to do it under the circumstances of COVID.”
This event had 100 seats open to the public and then it was also shown on Facebook Live.
It featured candidates from local county races to statewide races and even congressional candidates as well.
For voters it was a chance to hear from them in person. For candidates, it was a way to get in front of people, an opportunity that is hard to come by these days.
“We’ve been able to do it somewhat on Zoom calls and things like that, but to be here face-to-face they can see my concern, they can see my passion and hear my solutions,” Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said.
With a full media panel, candidates were questioned about broadband, COVID response, education, infrastructure and the drug crisis amongst other topics.
Each candidate was given an allotted time to speak and answer questions depending the race and if their opponent was present.
“This was a tremendous opportunity to interact with the people of Raleigh County and really looking forward to coming back down,” Republican Candidate for State Treasurer Riley Moore said. “We’re very close to the end of the election, and I encourage everybody to come out and vote. It’s a very important election cycle this year.”
You can check out the full live stream here: