Knightdale candidates create their own candidate forums

mhankerson@newsobserver.comOctober 18, 2013 

— Some town council candidates spent part of last weekend almost poolside in their efforts to provide voters with an opportunity to meet and interact with them.

With no official candidate forums planned for the election this year, three of the fourhopefuls running for three open seats in Knightdale’s Town Council decided to take matters into their own hands, meeting voters at some community pools last weekend.

Mark Swan, Mike Chalk and Randy Young held informal forums in the parking lots of Princeton Manor pool and Widewaters pool. Charles Bullock, the fourth candidate, did not participate in the forums.

“It’s great to have information on a flyer or a website but sometimes you really have to shake (a candidate’s) hand and look them in the eyes and know that they’re telling you the truth,” Swan said.

Only one Knightdale incumbent, Chalk, is seeking reelection. Councilmen Jeff Eddins and Tim Poirer are not running again.

The informal forum was structured like a meet and greet, where passersby could stop and talk to the candidates.

There was little turnout, but current council members Jeff Eddins and James Roberson came to show their support.

Roberson spent the morning going to door-to-door with Young but said he endorses all the candidates at the weekend forum event. Eddins said he is supporting Young and Chalk in the election.

Only one couple stopped at Princeton Manor. At Widewaters, the candidates dropped in and out throughout the early afternoon between going door-to-door and other campaign activities.

At Princeton Manor, Knightdale residents Daphne and Michael Wright engaged the candidates in a discussion about Knightdale schools. The Wrights don’t have any school-aged children, but their son recently graduated and began studying at North Carolina Central University in Durham. They said they were concerned about the quality of Knightdale’s schools.

Chalk told the Wrights the council didn’t have much to do with the schools, but could help by keeping an open line of communication with the county school board.

The candidates had similar views on Knightdale’s growth and how best to keep up with it. They all agreed it would be in the town’s interest to look at expanding the public safety forces and start looking toward more commercial development.

Chalk said he would consider planning and participating in another forum organized by the candidates.

“I hate that we didn’t have (a forum), I really look forward to it because I want people to know I understand how Knightdale works (and) what we need to do,” Chalk said.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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