HoCo Rising has already provided a pretty nice recap of yesterdays HoCo Chamber forum for county executive and county council candidates so I'll just throw in a couple of additional observations from my side of the podium.
This was the third candidates forum I've attended and the first ever that I have moderated. The other two were sponsored by the HoCo League of Women Voters. This main difference between the two was that the 125 or so attendees at yesterdays event paid thirty five bucks to educate themselves on the field of candidates, while the LWV forums were both free. The other difference was that the chamber allowed the audience to take pictures. At both of the LWV forums I was told by LWV members that I couldn't take pictures, though at the second one I did it anyway, albeit a bit surreptitiously.
As far as the forum itself, I doubt any minds were changed by listening to the candidates. The only challenger who may have benefited was Dennis Schrader. Though Jen Terrasa clearly put in her best performance so far, Dennis can off as much more confident and comfortable with the issues in District 3. If you didn't know better you'd have thought he was the incumbent which of course he once was. Dennis also gets points for the best line of the morning when he said "Local politics are the bedrock of this nation."
I couldn't agree more.
I also got to spend some quality time with Zaneb Beams (AKA Dr. Moonbeams). We had a chance to talk before the forum started and I found her to be both passionate and confident of her ability to make a difference. In fact, I was just starting to think that maybe I should drop the whole Moonbeams thing when she told me that as a doctor of medicine she knows the inside of the brain and how it works. I was under the impression that she was a pediatrician not a neurologist. Anyway, that statement struck me as a bit odd and when she repeated the same line on the dais the audience reaction seemed to be the same as mine.
A couple of school board candidates also attended the forum. Larry Walker showed up looking sharp in a suit while Bob Ballinger took the casual route and wore a golf shirt. That sort of stood out in room where most of the men sported ties. Later, in a conversation about the school board candidates with a seasoned loco political consultant who is working with the Ulman campaign, I was told that Bob is also an Allen Dyer disciple. I hadn't picked up on that before. I've come to see Cindy Vaillancourt, Leslie Kornreich and now Brian Meshkin as Dyer disciples but I didn't see Bob in that camp too. Fortunately I'll get the opportunity to explore this with him next week on our podcast when he'll join us for the two minute segment at the end of the show.