Chamber to host candidate forum

Local hopefuls for office invited to speak at Thursday event

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Vance Hinds, a former candidate for the new Ellis County Court at Law No. 3 judgeship, speaks during a Midlothian Chamber of Commerce forum in February 2020 at the Midlothian Conference Center. The Chamber will conduct another forum for candidates in the May 1 joint city-school board election on Thursday.

Election Day is less than a month away, and the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce will hold a candidate forum on Thursday evening for all Midlothian ISD and Midlothian City Council races.

The forum will take place at the Midlothian Conference Center at 1 Community Circle from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a meet-and-greet starting at 5:30. The forum will be also streamed online via Facebook Live on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

The event is free and open to the public. Candidates will answer questions from the Chamber’s Legislative Committee. If time permits, the audience may ask additional questions.

“Midlothian Chamber Candidate Forums allow a nonpartisan, unbiased, and impartial format,” Chamber President and CEO Laura Terhune said. “This Candidate Forum will give Midlothian voters an opportunity to hear candidates and discuss the issues of importance to them in this election.”

The May 1 election will feature three contested races on the Midlothian ISD board of trustees. Two of the seats are open, as Place 1 trustee and board president Carl Smith passed away from COVID-19 complications in December and Place 3 incumbent Heather Prather chose not to run for re-election.

Four candidates — Richard Pena, Develda Edgington, Crystal Rentz and Steven Garippa — are on the ballot to fill the open Place 1 seat. In Place 3, Symphony Lowe and Eduardo Gonzalez are running for election.

Place 2 incumbent Gary Vineyard, Jr. is running for re-election to a three-year term and is facing challenger Lisa Castillo.

Meanwhile, two Midlothian City Council seats are up for election, but only one race is contested. The Place 6 seat is a three-way race among candidates who ran for the seat last November.

Incumbent Hud Hartson, who won a special election to complete the term of the late Art Pierard in Place 6, is running for a full 3-year term and will face Tiffany Robinson Carra and Allen Moorman. Hartson defeated Carra in a runoff last December, while Moorman finished third in a four-way contest.

Mayor Pro Tem Justin Coffman is unopposed for re-election in Place 5.

Individual sample ballots for each precinct are available on the Ellis County Elections website. Early voting begins April 19. If no candidate receives a majority vote, a runoff will be held June 5.