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Not sure who to vote for? B-U Chamber, My Buckhannon & WVWC teaming up to host April 17 Candidates Forum

BUCKHANNON — As the 2024 May Primary Election approaches, the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, along with My Buckhannon and West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Student Senate, are gearing up to host a crucial event for voters — a meet-the-candidates forum.

The Candidate Forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the main auditorium at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts (the PAC). The event aims to give voters a chance to hear directly from candidates running for various positions in the City of Buckhannon and Upshur County.

The forum will feature candidates from several contested races, including the Upshur County Magistrate Division 1 & 2 races, Upshur County Commission (a six-year term and an unexpired two-year term), Upshur County Sheriff, Upshur County Board of Education and Buckhannon City Council.

If you’re unsure who’s running for what office, here’s a complete list of city, county, and state candidates.

Brian Bergstrom, owner-founder of My Buckhannon, highlighted the event’s importance.

“The purpose of the forum is to give voters an opportunity to hear candidates discuss the issues of importance to them,” Bergstrom said. “This event is free and open to the public.”

Tammy Reger, executive director of the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the event’s role in encouraging voter participation.

“We want to definitely remind people, first of all, to vote,” Reger said. “That’s their voice. That’s how they put forth what they think our community needs and wants.”

Not only will the forum allow the public to hear directly from the candidates in person, but it will also provide an opportunity for voters to chime in with their own questions. However, questions for candidates must be submitted one week before the event.

Constituents may submit questions ahead of time by emailing the chamber at info@buchamber.com or visiting the Chamber office, located in the Upshur Visitors Center on Main Street, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please note questions must be submitted to the Chamber by Wednesday, April 10, and they should note which candidate or candidates the question is for.

The event will be live-streamed to ensure broader access for those unable to attend in person. Voters can access the live stream on Channel 3 Buckhannon’s Facebook page or on its YouTube Channel.

“We livestream it so that those who can’t get out to join us at the PAC still have the opportunity to see and hear what is important to those candidates,” Reger explained.

My Buckhannon, the B-U Chamber of Commerce and WVWC’s Student Senate encourage all residents to participate in this important event, whether it’s by attending in person or live-streaming it.

“It’s a good way to see the candidates and hear directly from them,” Bergstrom said. “We want to show that a lot of people in our community care about these candidates who are going to be determining the future trajectory of our community over the next four or six years.”

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