The Peppercorn Grill got political Thursday night, Feb. 13, as candidates running for local offices took the podium at the "Meet the Candidate Night" forum hosted by Texas Business Women.
Each candidate, from those running for State office to those vying for County Clerk, spoke their piece as to why they should represent the people of San Angelo and/or Tom Green County.
“I think the forum is good, it’s always one of those avenues to get our name out,” said Dianna Spieker, the incumbent candidate for County Treasurer. “It was a fair opportunity for everyone.”
After each candidate had their three minutes to speak for their office, the floor was open to the attending crowd for questions regarding the position.
“I have a lot of questions, so many times when people listen to candidates, they lose train of thought,” said Mary Blakely of Texas Business Women and coordinator of the event. “That’s why I write all of mine down.”
Blakely had a question for almost every candidate and election position, the majority of them focusing on job tasks and experience.
“Many people don’t realize what their offices do,” she explained. “I didn’t know what the Justice of the Peace did until I talked to Kay Longest.”
Blakely wanted to make sure that people understand what each job entails and why certain experience might not make a candidate ideal. She wanted everyone present to get an understanding of whether or not the taxpayers need a new face, or if they should stick with what they’ve got.
“To me, one of my biggest things is that we need to look at our local candidates more so than our state or national candidates,” she stated. “These local ones run our immediate lives.”
In Blakely's and the rest of Texas Business Women’s opinion, events like the forum are important to get information out to the public, as well as to provide the public an opportunity to ask questions.
“We wanted to make sure everyone was informed,” said Laura Whisenhunt, President of Texas Business Woman and forum moderator. “It’s great to put a face to a name.”
As an organization dedicated to women helping women, the most import aspect of political involvement is encouraging women to use their right to vote, members say.
“It was important that women got the right to vote, so we want to make sure women get out and vote,” said Whisenhunt.
Primary election voting is from Feb. 18 through Feb. 28.