With the 2006 elections a year away, election season seems to have arrived early in Nevada. The Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce has noticed. The group is hosting candidate breakfast forums the third Wednesday of each month. They’re an opportunity to meet candidates for statewide and federal office and to hear a 45-minute presentation by each politician.
Chamber CEO Harry York said, “Why we started this is because we had so many candidates calling, saying, ‘Gee, we’d like to get before your board. We’d like to come to a chamber meeting.’ We really don’t have that kind of forum. … So we thought, ‘Well, we’ll just create a forum opportunity for them.’”
The chamber hosts two candidates at each monthly breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices on the 16th floor of the new Reno City Hall building at 1 E. First St.
The breakfasts started in September with Republican U.S. House second district candidate Dawn Gibbons. The Oct. 19 speakers were GOP candidate for governor Bob Beers and Democratic candidate for state treasurer Kate Marshall.
Touted as a membership benefit, the continental breakfast forums are also open to the public. Each candidate gets 45 minutes to state her or his case. The schedule of candidates is listed below, with more planned. The chamber’s Michael Pennington is filling out the calendar.
“Every now and then, I get nervous. … I don’t want anyone to say I’m not being fair and balanced over here,” Pennington said with a laugh, “so I’m going to jump on the phone and remind [the candidates] a third or fourth time, so everyone knows I’m trying to get everyone included.”
York said the forums aren’t debates, so the chamber doesn’t schedule people running against each other for the same breakfast.
The forums are free and open to the public, and the chamber requests RSVPs at 337-3043. For further information, check out the Chamber’s Web site, www.renosparkschamber.org.
Scheduled candidate forums:
7:30-8:15 a.m. Dina Titus, Democrat for Governor
8:15-9 a.m. Dean Heller, Republican for congressional district 2
7:30-8:15 a.m. Jim Gibbons, Republican for Governor
8:15-9 a.m. Brian Krolicki, Republican for Lieutenant Governor
7:30-8:15 a.m. Jill Derby, Democrat for congressional district 2
8:15-9 a.m. Lorraine Hunt, Republican for Governor
7:30-8:15 a.m. To be announced
8:15-9 a.m. Sharron Angle, Republican for congressional district 2