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Buda chamber to host candidates forum Oct. 16

by JJ Velasquez
October 16, 2013

As Election Day nears to decide two Buda City Council positions, the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to host its regular candidates’ forum on Oct. 16.

Only two of the six candidates have confirmed they will be attending the forum, being held at 6 p.m. at Buda City Hall. Lorraine Gerami, Beverly Araki and Wayne and Amy Proctor are not expected to attend the event.

Incumbent City Councilman Wiley Hopkins is among the confirmed participants. Vying to secure his first full term in Place 2 after being tabbed in a January special election, Hopkins said although this will be the first time he takes part in the forum, it is a traditional event that happens each election cycle.

“It is something that has been well accepted in the past, so I don’t see a need to be skeptical or that it’s going to be anything other than unbiased,” he said.

Hopkins replaced Mayor Todd Ruge after he vacated the seat to enter the mayoral race. Ruge leaving his post necessitated a special election.
Amy Proctor, Hopkins’ sole opponent, was also his challenger in the special election. Hopkins won the race in a runoff by doubling Proctor’s vote tally of 81.

Proctor’s husband, Wayne, is also challenging for a seat on the council.

Wayne Proctor on Monday sent a letter to J.R. Gonzales, managing director of the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce, who will be moderating the forum, in which he explained that he and three other candidates would not be attending.

“Some of the candidates and potential voters attend church services every Wednesday night,” he said, adding that he and the other candidates preferred a time during which a “broader section of the public” could be involved.

Gonzales said he was surprised candidates would turn down a chance to aid the democratic process.

“The purpose of the event is to give the general public an opportunity to meet candidates and hear from them directly,” the chamber’s managing director said. “Where else can they go and meet candidates in a formalized setting and ask questions?”

Angela Kennedy, one of Wayne Proctor’s challengers for the vacant Place 1 seat, said that when she participates in tonight’s event, she will be ticking off the first box for any candidate seeking public office: meeting one’s potential constituents.

“It’s just a given,” Kennedy said. “If you are going to represent the public and hold public office, you need to make yourself available to answer your constituents’ questions and concerns.”

Election Day is Nov. 5. Early voting starts Oct. 21.

Source: Impact News