What happens when you put 24 hopeful candidates, each appearing on the ballot for the November 8th General Election, for various local and county offices together?  The answer is, a lot of politically oriented conversations. That is exactly what happened at the Vail Candidates Town Hall held on Monday, September 19th in the Vail Theatre of the Arts.

The program, which was sponsored by the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce (GVACOC) and the Vail Parent Network (VPN), began at 5 p.m. with a Meet and Greet in the lobby of the theatre featuring those candidates invited to address the audience and other candidates who had heard about the town hall. Stacy Winstryg representing the VPN and Jeff Logsdon from the GVACOC served as co-emcees for the theatre program. Andre Mixon served as timer assisted by Nicholas Mentone, a 7th grader at Civano Community School.

“The participation from our candidates during this town hall meeting was exceptional and reflects their growing support for an emerging region. It is an honor to be a part of such an active community as we are influencing Vail’s future together for our children,” said Chamber President Jeff Logsdon. “The Candidate Town Hall offered voters the chance to hear first-hand how candidates feel regarding key issues like education, which is the Vail Parent Network’s focus,” said VPN Board Member Stacy Winstryg.

The greater Vail area is located in Arizona Legislative District 14, which includes Cochise, Graham, Greenlee Counties and a portion of Pima County. The format allowed each candidate to introduce himself or herself and answer two questions provided by the planning committee.

For Arizona LD14 Senate, candidates were Jaime Alvarez from Sierra Vista and Gail Griffin from Hereford.

For Arizona LD14 House, candidates were Mike Holmes from the Greater Vail Area, Drew John from Safford, Jason Lindstrom from Bisbee, and Becky Nutt from Clifton.

There are three seats open to serve four-year terms on the Vail Unified School District. Three of the candidates, Allison Pratt, Mark Tate and Callie Tippett shared why they were running for the school board.

Pima County Supervisor candidates, Republican Steve Christy and Green Party Member Joshua Reilly spoke to their platforms.

Tucson Medical Center Doctor Matt Heinz, who is running for the U S House of Representatives, shared his background, political experience, and issues of importance to him if elected to the House. Representative McSally was invited to Skype, but chose instead to send staff to be part of the lobby interaction. The same invitation was extended to Senator McCain and Representative Ann Kirkpatrick since Congress is in session.

In the lobby at the Meet and Greet and later, after the program, enjoying home baked cookies, were Margaret Burkholder and Dustin Williams, candidates for Pima County School Superintendent; Mike Cease, candidate for Pima County Recorder; Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell, candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission; and Chris Nanos and Mark Napier, candidates for Pima County Sheriff.

“I appreciated the opportunity to hear from each of the candidates as I personally hadn’t made a few decisions yet on where to cast my vote,” said GVACOC Board Member Charlie Buchanan. “I don’t know of another venue that would have allowed me to hear from and interact with key candidates at the local, state and national level.”

“The Town Hall brought back a little piece of the old “public square” where interacting with candidate’s gives you a much better understanding of how they will help you or how they might now. I was thankful to be a part of the informative event,” VPN member Heather Morzinski said.

The Vail Voice encourages you to vote.

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