The Lake Martin Young Professionals organization will host its second Access to the Issues event with a Town Hall Forum for the candidates running to represent Alexander City and District 81 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Democrat candidate Jeremy Jeffcoat and Republican candidate Ed Oliver will take part in the event scheduled for Thursday, August 16th at 5:30 pm at Valley National Bank’s Highway 280 branch in Alexander City.
The forum will give each candidate a chance to share with the audience the ideas and vision they intend to take to Montgomery in an effort to help advance the priorities of District 81 and the state of Alabama. The format will include five minutes for each person to deliver prepared opening statements followed by a 60-to-75-minute period of moderated questions that each candidate will have 3 minutes to respond to. Local residents can also get involved by submitting suggestions for questions in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and attendees will have the opportunity to drop questions at the door when they arrive. Those questions will be screened and included at the end followed by the candidates delivering closing remarks.
“We held a forum for Alexander City Mayoral candidates back in 2016 and gathered input and questions from the audience in a similar way for that event,” said LMYP’s Jacob Meacham. “Doing that allows us to filter through the submitted questions to ensure everything remains appropriate and adds to the forum in a positive way.”
Oliver and Jeffcoat are both excited for the opportunity. They believe forums like this give voters a good chance to understand their platforms and see their differences.
“I appreciate having another opportunity to share my conservative Republican point of view with the voters of District 81,” said Oliver. “I'm looking forward to talking about where we've been and where we're going. This forum will let the voters see the difference in Republican and Democrat representation in the Alabama House.”
“I am looking forward to a spirited discussion on August 16th,” added Jeffcoat. “The people of District 81 deserve a chance to hear ideas from candidates on moving our area and our state forward before making their decision in November. The Lake Martin Young Professionals are performing a great service to the people of District 81, and I encourage all voters to attend and become better informed.”
In an effort to gather the most current perspective, input was sought from outgoing District 81 Representative Mark Tuggle, who served two terms in the seat from 2010-2018.
“We had a great meeting with Representative Tuggle recently in order to get a better understanding of what these candidates might be faced with when they arrive in Montgomery,” said Meacham. “He was very gracious with his time and helped layout the issues that could be on the table in upcoming legislative sessions. His input should help us direct the forum in a way that helps voters understand the type of representation they’ll receive from Mr. Oliver or Mr. Jeffcoat.”
With both of candidates running to replace Tuggle being new to politics, the forum will provide voters a valuable learning opportunity and highlight their views on the major issues facing District 81 and the state. Those issues include infrastructure, prison/criminal justice reform, education, economic and workforce development, healthcare and others.
“Since Representative Tuggle is not seeking reelection, voters won’t have the chance to weigh each candidate’s credentials based on any recent political experience,” said Meacham. “Hosting an event like this gives those voters the chance to hear from the candidates directly and see how they plan to address the issues facing our district and the entire state.”
The forum is open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 with candidates delivering opening remarks starting at 6 pm. Questions regarding the event should be directed to Jacob Meacham at the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce by calling (256) 234-3461 or emailing email@example.com