Chamber hosting candidate forums

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Local residents are about to get a first-hand look at the candidates running for local office.

The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee will host two candidate forums this month. The public is invited.

Incumbent Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, and Republican challenger Dennis Schminke, the candidates for Minnesota House District 27B, will debate state issues from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn-Austin Conference Center. Discussion topics will include state budget and taxes, education, transportation, healthcare, and economic development.

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KAUS Radio is co-hosting the debate, and Community Service Director John Wright will moderate the discussion.

Candidates for the Austin City Council and Austin Public Schools board will be featured in a separate forum from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the Austin City Council chambers. Contested races for Austin City Council, Wards 2 and 3, will be presented first, followed by the six candidates vying for four open seats on the school board. Questions from the audience will be invited.

City council candidates include Judy Enright and Jon Boyer in Ward 3, and Brian Staska and Dave Hagen in Ward 2. Unchallenged candidates for city council will also be invited to make brief remarks. Candidates for school board include incumbents Don Fox, Kathy Green and Angie Goetz, along with newcomers Peggy Young, Rolando Ocampo and Lisa Haase.

There is no charge to attend either forum, though registration is appreciated. Advance questions are encouraged. Email questions to