A public forum for Republican candidates seeking the 1st Congressional office will meet with local students first, then appear in a public forum at around 6:45 pm. The candidates will take questions from students in Hamblen County from middle through high school in history and civics classes, as moderated by the Director of Schools. The public can listen in to the questioning of candidates who seek the seat of the Congressman Bill Jenkins, who announced he is not seeking re-election to Congress.
Candidates scheduled to appear include Larry Waters, David Davis, John J. Grose, Richard Roberts, Peggy Barnett, Richard Venable, Vance Cheek, Phil Roe, and Dan Smith.
Larry Waters is former Sevier County Mayor, David Davis is a state representative, Richard Roberts is an attorney and former staffer for Howard Baker, Peggy Barnett is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Richard Venable is Sullivan County Mayor, Vance Cheek is former mayor of Johnson City, Commissioner, East Tennessee Claims and is a member of the East TN Commission, Phil Roe is a Johnson City Commissioner and currently Vice-Mayor.
These 9 of the 13 GOP candidates are hoping to face the winner of the Democrat Primary which currently stands at four candidates, and one independent has also announced a candidacy, Green Party candidate Robert Smith. (NOTE: Congressional Quarterly reports 21 candidates, and has a recent breakdown on some of their fundraising efforts thru March.)
The nine will meet with the students in "meet and greet" with the students at around 5:30, according to the Young Republicans group organizing the event, and the public forum will be held in the auditorium of West High School.
(It should be noted times of the event reported on the Hamblen GOP web site are not those announced in the local paper, however, if the public arrives between 6:30 and 7 pm, they should be able to find seats and watch the event.)