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Lynn Theurer and Ruth Charles: League forum adhered to rules

Lynn Theurer and Ruth Charles: League forum adhered to rules

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The League of Women Voters Winona held a primary forum on July 21 for the candidates for the mayor of Winona.

All four candidates were invited to attend, and the rules were given to each candidate. Questions from the public for the candidates were sent to the League through our email address or Facebook page. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the press was given notice of the event and could attend through a Zoom event or cable TV.

At the forum, three candidates -- Ted Hazelton, Jovy Rockey and Scott Sherman -- responded to questions from the mayoral public education forum.

Michelle Alexander was unable to attend due to COVID-19 exposure, but did provide a written statement which was read at the forum. No candidate knew the public questions ahead of time. The League of Women Voters Winona has posted the forum in its entirety on our Facebook page for public viewing.

The Winona Daily News published the responses of forum candidates without the knowledge of the League of Women Voters Winona. The Winona Daily News has also contacted candidate Michelle Alexander to answer the same questions asked at our forum. The League of Women Voters Winona does not offer this process because it affords a candidate additional time to research issues and draft responses.

If the public has further questions for the candidates, we encourage voters to contact candidates directly. Be sure to vote on the primary on Aug. 11. We encourage voters to vote absentee by mail. Check lwvmn.org/vote-from-home for more information.

Lynn Theurer and Ruth Charles, Winona

Editor’s note: The Winona Daily News attended and took transcripts of a public forum and shared responses with our readers. While leaving out a response from one candidate followed the league’s rules for the forum, it does nothing to enlighten our readers or the city’s voters, which is why we provided the candidate who was unable to attend the forum with the opportunity to answer some of the questions asked during the forum.

Publishing responses from each candidate seems to uphold the League of Women Voters’ mission of “Empowering voters. Defending democracy” better than a blank space for one-fourth of the candidates.

Lynn Theurer and Ruth Charles are co-chairs of Voter Services for the League of Women Voters, Winona.

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