LEWISTON — Forums for local candidates for office in Lewiston and Auburn will be held on two nights in October.
Young Professionals of Lewiston and Auburn will host a forum for Auburn candidates on Oct. 20 and one for Lewiston candidates Oct. 22.
“We think the Lewiston people will pay attention more to the Lewiston stuff and Auburn people more to the Auburn stuff,” Heidi Sawyer, YPLAA member and moderator for both forums, said. “We think they’ll come, and stay longer, because it’s more relevant.”
Sawyer said the forums will be open to candidates for mayor, the City Council and the School Committee in their respective cities.
Candidates are hoping to fill 15 open seats in Auburn and 16 in Lewiston in the November balloting. All elected seats in both cities are open.
So far, 23 people are passing petitions in Auburn seeking to get their name on the ballot. In Lewiston, 31 people are passing nomination papers.
“There are so many people, and we want to make sure we have quality conversations without feeling rushed,” Sawyer said. “We felt it’s important to include all the seats, including the School Committee.”
Sawyer said she is taking suggestions for questions for both forums via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the YPLAA Facebook page.
Only a few people in both cities have filed papers. In Lewiston, mayoral candidate Charles Soule has guaranteed his spot on the ballot.
In the Lewiston council races, Ward 1 candidates Jim Lysen and Leslie Dubois have confirmed their spots. So have Ward 2 candidate Marc Roy and incumbents Shane Bouchard in Ward 4, Kristen Cloutier in Ward 5, and Michael Lachance in Ward 7.
In the Lewiston School Committee races, Ward 4 candidates Benjamin Martin and James Handy have completed their nomination papers, as have at-large candidates John Butler and Luke Jensen.
In Auburn, Mayor Jonathan LaBonte has claimed his spot on the ballot, as have at-large Councilors Belinda Gerry and David C. Young. Andrew Titus confirmed a spot on the ballot for the Ward 4 council seat. School Committee candidate Larry Pelletier has confirmed a spot for the at-large race.
Auburn candidates have until Aug. 20 to complete their nomination papers; Lewiston candidates, until Sept. 4.