Candidate forum planned

The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a candidate forum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, to take place at the Harlan Center.

Harlan County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Epperson Jr. explained the format for the evening.

“We’re going to have an open forum,” Epperson said. “We’ve had the community submit questions online, and then we went through those questions and narrowed them down to a few for each candidate.”

Epperson said each candidate will give a two-minute opening statement.

“The candidates will be given two or three questions each,” Epperson said.

Each candidate will have two minutes to answer a question, and then the opposing candidate will be allowed one minute for a rebuttal, Epperson said.

“We’ve got 20 candidates and 18 of those have confirmed,” Epperson said. “Two local candidates are still up in the air.”

Epperson pointed out the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office and the Harlan City Police Department will be providing security for the event. Air Evac will be providing snacks. The event will be televised by Harlan Community Television and streamed live on the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Epperson added all questions have been previously submitted and no questions will be taken from the audience at the event. He said over 60 questions were submitted via Facebook alone.

The forum will be moderated by Brandon Robinson of WYMT.

Candidates for state offices confirmed to attend include 84th District State Representative candidates Tom Pope and Chris Fugate, 87th District State Representative candidates Adam Bowling and Dustin Adams, Kentucky Court of Appeals Appellate District 7, Division 2 candidates David Barber and Larry Thompson.

Candidates seeking Harlan County offices in attendance are expected to be: Harlan County Judge-Executive candidates Dan Mosley and Darla Heflin; Harlan County Clerk candidates Donna Hoskins and John Clem; Harlan Circuit Court Clerk candidates Wendy Flanary and Joyce Heck; candidates for Harlan City Mayor Eric Perry, Joe Meadors and Drenda Crider; City of Loyall Mayor Candidates Rodrick Major and Clark Bailey; Harlan County Coroner candidate Philip Bianchi.

Candidates yet to confirm attendance include Harlan County Coroner candidate Derrick Noe and City of Loyall Mayor Candidate Clarence Longworth.

For more information, go to the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce website at