By Steve Sirianni
The Catholic Weekly
SAGINAW — Nouvel Catholic Central High School’s first political candidate forum on Monday, Oct. 18, at the school turned out to be a success, both for the contested candidates and for those who showed up to learn about the candidates.
About 40 students, their families, teachers and members of the general public listened to the 14 candidates, who each were given three to five minutes to briefly discuss their background and qualifications and tell what they would do if they were elected.
Then moderator Katie O’Mara from WNEM TV-5 turned over the remainder of the program to the audience to question the candidates.
The forum was targeted at high school seniors, many of whom would be voting for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
From questions that were asked by the audience, the main concerns among the candidates for Saginaw County offices were jobs, economic development, public safety and being able to balance the budget. There also was discussion about the need for energy independence and alternative energy sources.
Among the candidates in attendance were State Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Township), and his opponent, Dr. Debasish Mridha, and the two candidates for Saginaw County Circuit Court, James Borchard and Jim Howell.
U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) was unable to attend the forum but a representative from his office presented his background and views on his positions.
State Rep. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) was also present, while the rest of the candidates were all running for Saginaw County commission seats.
They included John Milne (10th district); Susan McInerney and James Graham (11th district); Tim Kelly (12th district), Ruth Averill and Ann Doyle (13th district); Judith Lincoln (14th district); and Tim Novak (15th district).