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South Dakota Candidate Forums Start This Week

This first political forums of the season will be held this week. Photo by Jerry Oster
This first political forums of the season will be held this week. Photo by Jerry Oster
October 10, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – AARP- South Dakota will sponsor candidate debates and bipartisan issue forums in October to help voters make informed decisions at the polls on Nov. 8.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will air the debates and forums as part of "South Dakota Focus," a public affairs and news program that runs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Central or 7 p.m. Mountain Time.

Erik Nelson, associate state director for AARP-South Dakota, says it's an effort to inform state voters.

"So it's just a good opportunity for South Dakotans, including our members, to have access to the candidates to see where they stand on the issues in making an informed vote in November," he explains.

These will be the first debates of the campaign season, and Nelson says all the candidates will take part.

"We're very pleased that all the candidates for the House and the Senate have agreed to South Dakota Public Broadcasting forums that are being held this month,” he states. “As election days draws closer, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to get this type of information and view these forums, so it's a good opportunity for everyone involved."

With 10 ballot issues also to be decided, Nelson says AARP-South Dakota will have a forum later this month focused on those. He says it is all part of voter education.

"The hope is that the voters go into it with an open mind and learn more about the candidates, and I think we have seen a lot this year that there are a lot of ballot initiatives on the ballot,” he states. “Be prepared when you vote this year."

The first forum this Thursday will be between U.S. Senate candidates: Democrat Jay Williams and incumbent republican Senator John Thune.

The House forum will be held Oct. 20, and the issues forum will be held on Oct. 27.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD