Greg Bassett: Election Season is here for the basking

The first chilled mornings of fall have different meanings to different people.

My grandfather, when waking to a 50-degree morning, would usually remark: “We’ll have geese in the freezer in four weeks.” My grandmother’s reaction was usually: “We’ll only have to keep up with the garden another three weeks.”

For me, the feeling was completely different:

Election Season is here!

I love it all: the yard signs, the endless TV ads, the newspaper ads, the Facebook updates, the campaign diaries, seeing contenders go door-to-door, encounter a candidate near the entrance to the Giant Food store.

But what I love even more: the debates!

This is one of those golden years for campaigns, when all of the State House offices are in play, and so is the Wicomico County government. A cherry on top is a rare contest for Circuit Court judge, which adds to all of the vote-getting intrigue.

If you’re a fan of debates, there will be some good viewing options. I can’t stress enough how valuable these exchanges are.

True, they’re not debates in the classic high school or college Debate Club format — they end up being a lot like joint press conferences — but seeing how the contenders act around each other is a lesson in ego and psychology.

An interesting debate (mostly meet-and-greet) encounter of sorts will take place this morning on the Salisbury University campus at 10 a.m. SU’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement is hosting a meet-and-greet with state and local political candidates at Red Square.

The confirmed list of state candidates includes Addie Eckardt, Chris Adams, Johnny Mautz, Carl Anderton, Norman Conway, Judy Davis, Rick Pollitt, John Cannon and M.J. Caldwell.

Issues-centric forums are also on tap this month. For example, the Wicomico Environmental Trust and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will host the 12 county office contenders in an Oct. 16 forum to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

There, candidates will be drilled on local environmental issues, including the county’s future growth, the proposed cleanup of creeks and rivers, and other topical issues.

Because I love debates so much, the Coastal Association of Realtors has agreed to let me moderate a debate that they are sponsoring with Salisbury Independent. (For me, this is the equivalent of Christmas Morning when I was 7 years old.)

That debate will be held Oct. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Guerreri Hall of Wor-Wic Community College and will be recorded for broadcast on PAC 14.

I’m very proud to say that CAR has secured candidates in all of the races that are important to Wicomico County voters:

Addie Eckardt and Chris Robinson will debate for the District 37 Senate seat.

Christopher Adams, Keasha Haythe and Johnny Mautz will debate for the District 37B House of Delegates seats.

Charles Otto and Percy Purnell will debate for the District 38A House of Delegates seat.

Carl Anderton and Norm Conway will debate for the District 38B House of Delegates seat.

Bob Culver and Rick Pollitt will debate for the Wicomico County Executive’s post.

John Cannon, Matt Holloway and Laura Mitchell will debate for the Wicomico County Council At-Large seats.

Have a question you want to see asked? Feel free to email me and I’ll try to get your question included as part of the program.

Also in October, Salisbury Independent will be running election preview stories concerning each of the races. Your input, as readers and citizens, would be welcome as we prepare those stories.

Email me at gbassett@newszap.com or drop a note to PO Box 1385, Salisbury, MD, 21803.

Cool nights and mornings, geese in the freezer, bye-bye garden weeds and HELLO DEBATES.

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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