‘Meet the Candidates’ night May 20, NAACP says

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A “Meet the Candidates” night for various election races that involve Rome will be held May 20 at 7 p.m. at Zion Episcopal Church, 140 W Liberty St., and will be hosted by the Rome chapter of the NAACP.

The event will apply to “anybody running for an office serving Rome,” said Rome branch NAACP President Jacqueline Nelson.

That could include such positions as Oneida County executive, Oneida County legislator, Rome mayor, Rome Common Council member and Board of Education member, for example. The Board of Education election is May 21, while other elections are later this year.

For candidates who participate in the May 20 event, Nelson said each will have a few minutes to speak in front of people who are attending, plus there will be “meet-and-greet” opportunities so attendees can have a chance to “get to know candidates...what they stand for.”

Candidates who are interested in taking part can call 315-271-7703, according to event organizers

Nelson said the Rome branch NAACP also has reached out, including through Facebook, to seek candidates’ participation in the forum.

The organization held a similar event a few years ago and it was very successful with a large turnout, but “got away from it” amid various other activities, said Nelson.

The effort to revive it is to give people a chance to “meet and see who’s running for office...what they plan to do for our community....,” she noted. It is “not always...just the economy” in regard to election campaign topics that may concern people, she observed.

Such events also can help counter potential complacency among some incumbent candidates, Nelson remarked.

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