In less than two months, we as Americans will go once again to the polls and cast our votes for candidates who we feel will best represent us. There are several local races that have the potential of becoming highly contested, which is always amusing. Others races may not be as exciting, ether way, it’s important to cast your vote.

Over the past several years, we held public forums allowing candidates to explain their position on issues. While we may hear and see ads from the candidates touting their accomplishments, it’s important for the candidate to answer unscripted questions from a non-partisan source. We are working on scheduling forums for several races in the area.

One particular race that is gaining a lot of attention now is the governor’s race, which is not until next year. So far Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, State Auditor Mike Harmon, State Rep. Savannah Maddox, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft and former lawyer Eric Deters, all Republicans, have declared their desires to unseat Andy Beshear.

I’m sure there are others who have since made the announcement but, here in the mountains, the candidates often forget us. In any event, as we get closer to the Republican primary next May, I will reach out to all the candidates to see if they would be willing to speak to the voters of Eastern Kentucky in a public forum. Their response, if any, would be interesting and telling to show who really cares about this region.

Eric Deters, the only candidate who has never held public office, has announced that he will hold a free public event on Oct. 8 at the Appalachian Wireless Arena. He has dubbed it “Mountain Freedom Fest.”  Donations will be taken up, all of which will be given to the East Kentucky Dream Center for flood victims.

Scheduled to appear are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, provocative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and Turning Point USA Spokesperson Isabel Brown. All of these people are very prominent conservatives.

Deters’ first event was in Northern Kentucky a few weeks ago and after that event the Kentucky Democratic Party issued a press release saying that he is “unhinged” but you will know exactly where he stands on issues.

The Democratic Party says that GOP candidates must come clean on the issues. They said, “ Eric Deters’ extremist rants are filled with dangerous conspiracy theories, but at least he is clear with Kentuckians about where he stands.”

Recently, the Republican Party of Floyd County announced they would be holding a Lincoln dinner with Republican officials, including some candidates running for governor. Deters, who is a republican was not invited. So he decided to hold his own event in Floyd County the same night. According to his website, he is being blocked by the Republican Party of Floyd County from having an event that night.

It’s clear the Democrats don’t like him and now it seems like the Republican Party does not like him either. But according to his website he is gaining support and is damned determined to win the election.

The Mountain Freedom Fest should be an interesting event and, so far, it’s the only public event hosted by any candidate running for governor.

Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.

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