STANFORD — With the general election less than a week away, candidates for many offices in Lincoln County and Stanford spent a couple hours Tuesday night sharing their backgrounds and platforms during a political forum in downtown Stanford.
Candidates for the district three school board seat, circuit court clerk, district two magistrate seat and Stanford City Council took turns answering questions posed by moderator Mark Thompson, pastor at Stanford Christian Church.
The forum was sponsored by the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and Stanford-based radio station WPBK 102.9, which broadcast the candidates' responses live.
District three school board
Candidates for the district three school board seat led off the night, discussing where the school district has been and where it is headed.
Incumbent Theresa Long and challenger Michael Gourley focused on improvements made in testing in the past year, while challenger David Hacker emphasized his past experience as a school board member.
Gourley said he has grown tired of hearing people "bashing" Lincoln County's school system for poor performance, but is encouraged by recent improvements.
"I want to see that trend continue," he said.
Long said improvements in Lincoln's school district may often be overlooked and people don't hear enough about the good things that are happening.
"Maybe at one point there was a time when the school board didn't know what was going on, but they're on top of the game now," she said.
Hacker said he served on a school board for eight years in the past, and that experience makes him the most qualified.
"You take my 96 months of experience, you compare it to these two candidates, they have a total between them of six months," he said.
Circuit court clerk
Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Teresa Reed and challenger Dwight Hopkins were up next, with Reed speaking to her customer service abilities and good rapport with local judges and Hopkins focusing on his background in economics.
Reed said serving as circuit court clerk is "not just a job" for her and she takes pride in helping people who come into her office, whatever their needs may be.
"Whether you have been chosen to serve on jury duty, you have a traffic ticket, you have a court case — sometimes, those things can be overwhelming," she said. "I'm there to help you, explain the process and answer any questions you have."
Hopkins said his degree in economics gives him an edge that will be needed due to an economy that presents "a very formidable challenge."
"I'm more convinced than I was on day one that a person with a good economic background in any elected position in the state of Kentucky is going to be an added plus."