The Gulfport Democratic Club and St. Petersburg Republican Club are hosting a candidate forum on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S.
Several candidates already confirmed that they will attend. They include:
- Bob Gualtieri, GOP candidate for Sheriff;
- Scott Swope, Democratic candidate for Sheriff;
- Jessica Ehrlich, U.S. District House 13 candidate (Democrat);
- Buck Walz, Republican candidate for District 7, at large, County Commission;
- Ken Welch, Democratic incumbent, District 7, at large, County Commission.
Gail Hebert with the St. Petersburg Republican Club says that U.S. Rep. Bill Young has not responded to the invitation to the forum. Ehrlich is challenging the Republican Congressman.
Gulfport Patch contacted Young's local office on Tuesday, but has not heard back.
Update: Wednesday, Sept. 19 4:10 p.m.: A representative with Young's office contacted Patch on Tuesday and confirmed that he will not be able to attend because the U.S. House of Representatives is in session.
Candidates will be given two minutes for opening remarks and then answer questions posed by the moderator, Bonnie Sklaren, with the Florida Nurses Association.
If time permits, audience members may ask questions at the end.
People are encouraged to come early to the event; doors open at 6 p.m. Some candidates may be on hand prior to the forum to meet and talk with voters.
Whether or not opponents show up, all candidates present can take part in the forum. Representatives of those unable to attend are also allowed to participate.
Below is a list of all the races and candidates invited to the forum:
- C.W. Bill Young (REP) (I) - confirmed that he will not attend
- Jessica Ehrlich (DEM) - confirmed to attend
- Bob Gualtieri (REP) (I) - confirmed to attend
- Scott Swope (DEM) - confirmed to attend
- Greg Pound (WRI) - was not invited
- Deborah Clark (REP) (I) - confirmed to attend
- Jack Killingsworth (NRA) - confirmed to attend
District 1 At Large
- Neil Brickfield (REP) (I)- confirmed to attend
- Janet C. Long (DEM) - confirmed to attend
District 3 At Large
- Nancy Bostock (REP) - confirmed to attend
- Charlie Justice (DEM) - confirmed to attend
District 7 At Large
- Buck Walz (REP) - confirmed to attend
- Ken Welch (DEM) (I) - confirmed to attend
District 1 - At Large
- Janet R. Clark (NOP) (I) - confirmed to attend
- Elliot Stern (NOP) - confirmed that he will not attend
District 7 - Single Member
- Rene Flowers (NOP) - confirmed to attend
- Glenton "Glen" Gilzean (NOP) (I) - confirmed to attend
- Kathleen Peters (REP) - confirmed to attend
- Josh Shulman (DEM) - confirmed to attend
- Vice Mayor Endorses Swope, Mayor Backs Gualtieri
- Video: Gualtieri Wins GOP Nomination for Pinellas County Sheriff
- Gualtieri Beats Rice for Republican Nod for Sheriff
- Clark, Stern to Face Off in November
- Flowers, Gilzean Headed for November Runoff
For more information: