You can hear it at the coffee shop, from your neighbor or from the media, but if you want to hear it from the candidates themselves, make plans to attend the Campaign 2008 Political Forum.

Candidates for Midlothian City Council and Midlothian Independent School District Board of Trustees have been being invited to the Navarro College Campus at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 2 to discuss the issues facing the community.

The event is being sponsored by the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce, Navarro College and The Midlothian Mirror.

The forum is free and open to the public.

“The goal is to provide a fair and orderly public forum to discuss issues facing the City of Midlothian and the Midlothian Independent School District,” said Dr. Cubie Ward, Dean of Navarro College – Midlothian Campus. “All the candidates have been invited.”

Nine candidates are seeking seats on either the Midlothian City Council or Midlothian Independent School District Board of Trustees

Candidates with opponents in the May 10 election are:

• City Council Place 1 - Ricky Long and R.J. Dusty Fryer.

• City Council Place 2 - Freda W. Wash, Bill Houston and Bob Johnson, Jr.

• MISD Trustee Place 6 - Cindy Williams and K.C. Bernard.

Unopposed candidates also on the ballot this year are:

• Mayor - Boyce Whatley.

• MISD Trustee Place 7 - Wayne Shuffield.

The forum will be conducted by the Navarro College Government Class who will pose questions to candidates. Ward will act as host and emcee.

“We are being open and up-front with the candidates so they know what we are trying to do,” said Ward. “We are calling it a forum and the idea is to discuss the issues facing both the city and school district.”

All candidates will be given a 2-minute opening statement.

Candidates with opposition will then field three questions each: one generic question will be posed to all candidates by the Navarro Government Class; each candidate will draw one of 10 random questions from a hat; one question will be determined by a Voter Choice campaign run in the Midlothian Mirror and solicited from the community.

Ward said candidates will have an opportunity to review and prepare for all questions that will be asked. Candidates will be told the Voter’s Choice Question 30-minutes before the forum begins.

All candidates will be given a 3-minute closing statement.

“The forum is expected to last about two hours and the Navarro College Government Class will handle the clock,” said Ward. “Candidates will also be asked to stick around after the forum to talk with voters.”

The audience is encouraged to wear official campaign buttons and t-shirts, but will not allowed to post signs, banners or placards that might disrupt the view of others in the audience. A place in front of the college will be offered to post campaign signs.

“This is an important opportunity for the candidates to get their message before the voters and it is also an opportunity for the community to hear from each candidate,” said Amanda Miller, Executive Director of the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce. “This will serve both the public and business community and give them a chance to be informed directly by the candidates.”

Miller said the Chamber is pleased to serve as the main contact point for candidates.

“We have contacted each candidate and now we are inviting the public,” said Miller. “We are urging the community to come out and be involved.”

The Midlothian Mirror is handling publicity and logistics.

Candidates with questions or seeking information about the forum can contact any member of Midlothian Spring Election Forum 2008 Committee. The Midlothian Spring Election Forum 2008 Committee is made up of Floyd Ingram (972-775-3322), Dr. Cubie Ward (972-775-7200) and Amanda Miller (972-775-8600).