Southeastern SGA joins Hammond Chamber to host electoral forums
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Student Government Association will join forces with the Hammond Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a series of “Meet the Candidates” forums in preparation for the Oct. 22 primary election.
The forums – scheduled for two nights on Monday, Oct. 3, and Wednesday, Oct. 5 – will be held in Southeastern’s Student Union Theatre. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the free discussions.
"It's vital that students become engaged in their political landscape so they can be active citizens upon graduation," said Luke Holloway, SGA president. "We need to get to know those individuals who will be elected to represent our university in the state Legislature."
The Monday night forum will feature candidates running for local legislative races. Moderated by former WDSU-TV broadcaster and current Southeastern communication instructor Steve Bellas, the form will focus on the new legislative districts that impact Hammond: House District 86 and Senate District 6, both of which were redrawn in reapportionment earlier this year. House candidates are slated for a 5 p.m. start with Senate candidates at 7 p.m.
House District 86 is a new Tangipahoa seat, drawn completely inside parish boundaries. The seat has drawn five candidates and includes portions of Hammond, Natalbany, Tickfaw, Independence, Amite, Husser and Loranger. Senate District 6, wholly recreated as part of the redistricting process, now spans the central Florida Parishes, traversing a slender arc from East Baton Rouge Parish to Hammond. Two candidates are vying for the post.
The Wednesday night forum will spotlight candidates for the positions of Tangipahoa Parish President and Parish Council District 8, the only district that touches Hammond and does not involve an incumbent. Two candidates are running for Parish President, while three are in the running for the council seat. Northshore Bureau Chief Doug Mouton of WWL-TV in New Orleans will serve as moderator. Parish Council candidates will be featured at 5 p.m., with Parish President candidates to follow at 7 p.m.
The Hammond Chamber is soliciting questions for the candidates from the public. Questions should be submitted to the Chamber via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 985-345-3749. Questions can also be submitted via the Chamber’s Facebook page.
“For the sake of time, the decision was made prior to qualifying that this year’s forums would focus mainly on ‘new’ districts and those races that do not involve incumbents,” said Hammond Chamber Chairman Chris Moody. “However, out of consideration for the other House and Senate candidates who are running for offices that represent the Hammond area, we will invite them to be our special guests at Monday’s forum and host a “Campaign Table” in the theater lobby before and after the forums.”
For more information about the forums, contact the Hammond Chamber at (985) 345-4457.