BEND, OR -- It's political debate season, and the Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR) is getting in on the action. The group is hosting a series of candidate forums, beginning next week. COAR's Tyler Neese says debates will focus on housing related topics, "We saw a need in the community for an open public forum for a debate where candidates could come together; especially for some key issues, like land use, growth, transportation, and infrastructure. All are big issues, really, across the spectrum, I think in Central Oregon races - but perhaps more broadly in the House races, as well."
The first event is Monday, "Virtually everyone has confirmed," says Neese, "The reception has been great from our local elected officials. Whether they're incumbents or candidates, they're all very willing to participate." Forums will bring together candidates for Mayor and City Council, for Bend and Redmond, as well as County Commissioner, and District 53 and 54 State Representative hopefuls. Neese hopes voters will get a chance to learn about every candidate, "With the exception of House District 54 - we haven't heard from Nathan Boddie yet - and there's a couple others, not just him, who haven't confirmed, so we'll see."
Monday's forum with the candidates for Deschutes County Commissioner Position One and Three begins at 1 p.m. at the COAR building at 2112 NE Fourth Street, in Bend. "It's going to be a really great way to expose voters to all the folks that are going to be on the ballot," says Neese, "Talk about what's important to them, have an opportunity to hear them talk about some of the really key issues." All the debates are free and to the public. However, due to limited space, attendees are asked to register in advance.
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