Candidates’ Night on Thursday, April 14, is moving to the Port Aransas Community Theatre, 2327 State Highway 361.
The voter education forum sponsored by the South Jetty newspaper will begin at 6 p.m. Candidates are asked to arrive 40 minutes prior and meet in the rehearsal hall, which is to the left of the auditorium as you look at the stage.
The move was made because of the number of candidates and anticipated larger-than-usual attendance that would overcrowd the Port Aransas City Council Chambers, where it usually is held, at a time when COVID-19 remains a concern.
The theater has ample capacity and a high-quality sound system that will serve the forum well, said South Jetty editor and moderator Mary Henkel Judson. The event will be livestreamed on the South Jetty’s YouTube channel and will remain there indefinitely.
Wearing masks is recommended for everyone but required for anyone who is unvaccinated.
All but Place 2 candidates will participate in the event.
Mayoral candidates are Gregory Chittum, Wendy Moore and Martin J. Phalen.
Place 4 candidates are Tanya Chambers and Gary Klepperich.
Candidates for Place 6 are Dale T. Christianson, Carl “Corky” Moore, Edwin Myers, Paul Ruff and Leslie Smith.
Place 2 candidates Tina Mott and Kelly Owens will not participate. Mott, the incumbent who was elected to fill an unexpired term last November, did not contact the South Jetty to confirm her participation by the deadline, therefore forfeiting her place at the forum.
The South Jetty published the deadline in multiple election stories leading up to the deadline. Mott also did not respond to text, voicemail and emailed messages left for her by a South Jetty reporter who was reminding candidates of the deadline.
Owens said he had a conflict and would not be able to participate. Format
Each race will be taken separately, with breaks between each one.
All candidates will be given the same question at the same time prior to the beginning of the forum and will have 30 minutes to prepare a written response. The responses then will be turned in to the moderator and returned to the candidates so they can read their responses during the session for their respective races.
Each candidate will be allowed a three-minute opening statement then three minutes to present their prepared responses to the question they were given prior to the opening of the forum.
Candidates will then draw two questions, one at a time, from a hat, and give three-minute impromptu responses. All the questions in the hat will be different.
Finally, each candidate will have two minutes to make a closing statement.
“Candidates’ Night is not a debate, and unlike nationally televised debates, time limits will be strictly enforced,” Judson said.