Announcing the 2014 OP Candidate Forums

The editors of OrangePolitics are excited to announce our live online candidate forums for the upcoming elections for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Special Election, the Orange County School Board, Orange County Sheriff, and the Orange County Board of Commissioners (Democratic primary). 

We are also excited to announce that we will be circulating a brief questionnaire to candidates for Orange County Register of Deeds. We will publish the responses to this questionnaire on OrangePolitics on Wednesday, April 16. We invite the candidates themselves, as well as members of the public, to then use these questionnaire responses to engage in a discussion about the election and the office of Register of Deeds right here on OrangePolitics.


  • Local journalist Kirk Ross, editor of the Carolina Mercury, former editor of the Carrboro Citizen, and a regular columnist for the Independent Weekly, will serve as the moderator for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen special election forum and the Orange County Board of Commissioners forum.

  • Libbie Hough, a former member of the Orange County Board of Education and President of Comma, a communications company, will moderate the Orange County Board of Education candidates forum.

  • North Carolina ACLU Legal Director Chris Brook will moderate the Orange County Sheriff candidates forum.


  • Carrboro Board of Aldermen Special Election: Sunday, April 6, 7:00-9:00 pm

  • Orange County School Board: Sunday, April 13, 7:00-9:00 pm

  • Orange County Sheriff: WEDNESDAY, April 23, 7:00-9:00 pm

  • Orange County Board of Commissioners (Democratic primary): Sunday, April 27, 7:00-9:00 pm

Each forum will consist of a real-time written conversation between the candidates and the moderator. Questions for the forums will be solicited from OrangePolitics readers both before and during the forums. As with our previous candidate forums, the moderator will have final say in question selection. The forums will take place online at, with one evening dedicated to each race covered.

Readers will be encouraged to observe each forum and to participate in a simultaneous, separate blog thread where they can discuss the forum and propose follow-up questions. OP editors will monitor this discussion in real time and feed readers' questions and follow-up topics to the moderator. Candidates will also be encouraged to ask each other questions and to comment on each others' responses.

Now is the time to start suggesting forum topics and questions. You can make your suggestions via comments on this blog post, the OP contact form (, Twitter (, and Facebook (

For more information about the 2014 election, visit the election section of OP for important dates and more at



I'm interested in hearing from the candidates for sheriff about the condition of the Orange County jail.

I'm sure everyone in principal agrees with cooperation between the Sheriff's office and municipal police departments.  But I'm not sure I know exactly what that means and if there are degrees in this between the candidates.  Chief Blue gave an interesting presentation to the men at my church last month and highlighted one great example -- the town police department is able to meet as an entire group to give out awards once per year (for 45 minutes) solely because Sheriff deputies are willing to cover urgent issues in town for that period. Thanks to Sheriff Pendergrass for making that happen and I hope our next Sheriff will continue to allow that specific example.

5 years ago ( this was a hot issue with our Sheriff, but don't think I've heard anything since.  Obviously, the feds have changed a lot since then, but where do we stand today and where do the Sheriff candidates stand on any flexibility we may have?

I would be interest in hearing from the Commissioner candidates whether they support an Orange County fair, if so why, and if not what are their objections.


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