The Waxahachie Daily Light and KBEC Radio, in conjunction with the Ellis County Republican Women, will host a candidates’ forum Feb. 18 at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

The forum is open to the public free of charge and will provide an opportunity for voters to learn more about the candidates running in contested Ellis County races for the March 4 Republican primary.

“For the past several election cycles the Daily Light and KBEC have worked together to help the public learn more about the candidates and the issues,” explained Neal White, editor of Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. “Ken Roberts and I will be moderating the forum and we will present questions to each candidate in the respective races.

“Once again we’re appreciative of the efforts of the Ellis County Republican Women’s organization, which is sponsoring the facility rental and refreshments for the event,” White said.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on KBEC Radio AM 1390. The Daily Light, along with its sister papers (Ennis Journal, Midlothian Mirror, Ellis County Chronicle and Italy News-Herald) will also provide newspaper coverage while video coverage will also be uploaded on the Daily Light Web site at www.waxahachiedailylight.com

The contested Ellis County races in the March 4 Republican Primary include:

District Attorney: Joe Grubbs (incumbent), Rodney Pat Ramsey

Sheriff: Johnny Brown, James A. Ledbetter, Steve McKinney

County Commissioner Pct. 1: David R. Land, Bob Polley, Dennis Robinson (incumbent)

County Commissioner Pct. 3: Heath Sims (incumbent), Brian Thompson

Constable Pct. 1: Ben P. Fry (incumbent), Jim Pharr

Constable Pct. 4: Mike Jones, Kyle Neal

Ellis County Republican Chairman: Nelson Baird, Alan Gell, V. Wayne Turner

“While we encourage candidates in each of these races to submit questions to the forum, Neal and I will sit down prior to the event and finalize all of the questions that will be presented to each of the candidates in a particular race. Each candidate will be given an equal amount of time to respond to each question, in addition to opening and closing remarks,” Roberts said. “Due to time constraints, we will only be able to take questions from the audience if time permits.”

White added that all candidates — including those not running contested races in the primary — will have an opportunity to meet and visit with audience members following the formal presentation.

“Ken and I are looking forward to putting the forum together. In the past, these events have really helped bring a lot of information to the voters while also giving them a chance to get to know the folks running for office,” White said. “All of the candidates in the Republican primary have already been invited and we’re looking for a big turn out at the civic center.”

Roberts added that KBEC and the Daily Light are planning to hold a similar forum prior to the general election in November.