Matoaca, Bermuda District candidates prepare for high-stakes forum

Candidate forums presented by the Chesterfield Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber and the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce got under way last Thursday. The first forum of the series covered the uncontested supervisor and school board races for the Clover Hill and Midlothian Districts. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attendance was light.  

Incumbent Jim Holland and Cliff Bickford, both candidates for Board of Supervisors for the Dale District, were first on the stage for the forum held at Meadowbrook High School. Around 50 citizens, including chamber staff attended.  Moderator John Easter, asked a series of seven questions to each of the candidates.  Followed with questions from the audience.  The second half of the forum were candidates for the School Board, Dave Wyman and Michael Jackson, following the same format.  

In a year in which presidential candidates have risen and fallen based on their performance in a handful of “debates,” two forums remain before Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Matoaca District and Bermuda District candidates are looking forward to their own high-stakes confrontation.

This Wednesday, Oct. 19, and then on Monday, Oct. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m., the remaining candidates for the Board of Supervisors and School Board will have their best chance to make their cases the a public forum. .  The public is invited. The candidates’ forum will offer Matoaca and Bermuda residents an opportunity to compare and contrast the views of two candidates for the Board of Supervisors.

Marleen Durfee fought a tough race in 2007 against three challengers.  Mark Tubbs, the republican challenger, came in a close second followed by W. “Bill” Hastings and A. Eli Jones. Challenging Omarh Rajah’s seat on the School Board is Thomas J. Doland and S.M. Siddiqi. Doland ran a close race against Rajah in 2007.  The candidate forum for the Matoaca District is Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. at Cosby High School, 14300 Fox Club Parkway, Midlothian.

For the Bermuda District, Dorothy Jaeckle won her seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2007 by besting Jack Wilson for the Republican nomination and going on to defeat Democrat Ree Hart and independent Roy Wallace in November.  Jaeckle, a 31-year resident of Bermuda District, has served on several appointed boards including the Chesterfield Committee on the Future.  

Mark Fausz, editor and co-owner of the Village News, is a first-time candidate for public office.  A 20-year resident of Chester, Fausz is one of the founders of the Chester Community Association as well as a charter member of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation.  

The Bermuda forum will also feature two candidates for an open seat on the School Board. Attorney Carrie Coyner is a lifelong Chesterfield resident and founding partner in the law firm Rudy, Coyner & Associates.  Coyner’s opponent retired US Army officer Stella Edwards is a long-time education activist whose interests have focused on bringing community and governmental resources to bear on improving educational outcomes for students from at-risk backgrounds or attending low-performing schools. Edwards has represented the national PTA before Congress, the Virginia General Assembly, and many other bodies.  The forum for the Bermuda District is Monday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m. at Thomas Dale High School, 3626 West Hundred Road, Chester.

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