B-U high school students hosting election forums


TENNERTON — Buckhannon-Upshur High School students who are eligible to vote this year wanted to know more about their candidate choices.

That led to the school’s Youth Leadership Association hosting two forums beginning this week with local and state candidates.

YLA advisor Brent Kimble said, “The Youth Leadership Association, being the largest club at the high school, has fundamental beliefs in the ideas of citizenship, ways citizens can be active in our community and government and of course in community service.

“A couple students came to me and said, ‘we are getting ready to vote in the midterm election and we don’t know who to vote for.’ So we said, let’s create an event not only for our students but for our community to allow them to meet, talk, question and interact with local, state and national candidates.”

Kimble said YLA initially envisioned a one-night event but realized there was so much interest that it needed to be broken into two nights.

The first forum is Wednesday, April 18 at B-UHS and will include Upshur County Board of Education, Upshur County Commission, Upshur County Clerk, Upshur County Conservation District Supervisor, Buckhannon City Recorder and Buckhannon City Council candidates.

The second of the two forums is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 at B-UHS and will include House of Delegate Candidates from 44th, 45th and 46h districts, State Senate candidates from District 11, U.S. House of Representative candidates from the Second Congressional District U.S. Senate candidates.

The events each begin at 5:30 p.m. and wrap up at 8 p.m.

From 5:30-6 p.m. there will be a mixer with cookies and refreshments in the commons area where candidates can meet with students and community members.

At 6 p.m., everyone will move into the auditorium for the formal part of the forum.

“Each candidate will be given a moment to introduce themselves and explain why they are running for office,” Kimble said. “We will then open the floor to questions. One rule we are putting out there is that the questions have to be worded in a way to allow each candidate for that specific office to answer. We want each candidate to be able to talk for the same amount of time.”

Following the question and answer segment, each candidate will have the opportunity to make a closing statement.

“We have been very impressed with the response,” Kimble said. “We have candidates from just about every office at the local and state level and we have attracted the attention of a couple of U.S. Senate candidates and House of Representatives candidates. We are really excited about the turnout from all the candidates.”

Kimble said YLA encourages the public to attend the forums.

“This is a great opportunity to allow our community to become more involved in who they vote for,” he said.

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