KENDALLVILLE — Candidates seeking office in Kendallville will take the stage Wednesday night at East Noble High School to debate the issues.
Kendallville residents are not only encouraged to attend, but also to submit questions in advance for panelists to pose to the candidates.
KPC Media Group and The News Sun are hosting Wednesday night's event, which will features Republicans and Democrats seeking three city offices — mayor, city council at-large and city council 3rd District.
The debate will run from 6-8 p.m. at the Cole Auditorium at East Noble High School. Admission to the event is free.
Mayoral candidates Suzanne Handshoe, the incumbent Republican mayor, and Democrat Tim Schlotter will be up first at 6 p.m. for a 45-minute debate.
Following that, Kendallville City Council at-large candidates incumbent Republican Regan Ford and Democrat Tony Mark will field 30 minutes of questioning, followed by another 30 minutes for 3rd District incumbent Republican Amy Ballard and Democrat Sachiko Janek.
Topics will cover current events and issues facing Kendallville.
Anyone unable to attend the event in person can still watch it via a Facebook Live stream on The News Sun’s Facebook page at facebook.com/TheNewsSun.
This fall, Kendallville is the only community with contested elections, as no races are opposed in Ligonier or any of the smaller towns.
Early voting for the 2019 municipal general election started Tuesday. Election Day is Nov. 5.
News Sun Editor Steve Garbacz said he hopes to see a good turnout from the community to take advantage of this new event.
“I hope Kendallville voters will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the candidates seeking these city offices, ” Garbacz said. “This is the first debate The News Sun is hosting, but we hope to offer similar events in the future for county, state and even federal offices.”
Handshoe is seeking her fifth term in office as Kendallville’s mayor, but is facing a challenge from former downtown business owner Schlotter.
The two Republican council candidates include the veteran Ford, who is seeking his fourth term, and Ballard, who is seeking her first full term after being selected to fill the 3rd District vacancy at a caucus earlier this year when Frank Walkup resigned the seat.
They are being challenged by the Democrats Mark and Janek, respectively, who are newcomers to the Kendallville political scene.
Residents are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates. People can submit questions ahead of time by emailing them to Garbacz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Sun staff will also be passing out note cards at the debate and attendees can jot down a question that will be considered by the moderating panel.