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Council candidate forum set Tuesday

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The League of Women Voters of the Hill Country Texas will hold a Candidate Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 15, for the nine candidates who have filed to run for the three places open on the Bandera City Council.

The forum will be held from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Bandera Electric Cooperative headquarters at 3172 Highway 16 North outside of Bandera. The public is invited to attend the free event and is encouraged to submit questions for the candidates to answer, a news release about the forum said.

It represents the first opportunity for the public to assess the candidates, many of whom have never run for elective office before.

The candidates include three incumbent council members whose terms are expiring this year – business owner Lynn Palmer, college professor Tom McEachin and personal assistant Rebeca Gibson.

The candidates who filed to run against them include Cindy Lou Coffey, a businesswoman who served on council before and has run for the mayor’s post in Bandera twice without success, Candice Witt, a realtor, and her husband, Gunnar Witt, a firefighter for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Also on the city’s ballot are Debbie Brown, a financial advisor, Jerry Russe, owner of Riverside RV Park and Chilly Dogs hot dog and ice cream stand in Bandera, and Alan Calaway, a former city employee who was dismissed from his post in May and is now self-employed.

The top three vote getters will be declared winners of the council election, which will come to a conclusion on Nov. 5.

Early voting in the election will start on Oct. 21 and end on Nov. 1.

League officials, who regularly conduct candidate forums, said all nine candidates have been invited to the question-and-answer session next week.

A league official will moderate the forum, which will include both an opening and a closing statement from each candidate.

Those in attendance at the forum will be able to submit a question to the candidates by submitting the inquiry in writing on a card provided by the league. Each of the questions will be screened by two league members and given to the moderator.

Candidates will have a set amount of time to answer each question.

The Bandera Independent School District board of trustees also had an election scheduled for Nov. 5 for three trustee positions, but only the incumbents – Brittany S. Hicks, Heidi Battle and Greg Butler – filed to run, so the election has been called off.

All inquiries about the upcoming forum should be submitted to the league chapter in writing by emailing the league at

The league is a nonpartisan organization focused on registering people to vote, educating citizens on candidates in elections and on the issues driving elections and mobilizing residents to vote.

More information about the organization is available at its website, , or by contacting the chapter president at the same league email address listed two paragraphs before this one.