Orange City Council Candidate Forum
to be Held March 23

  • Two Incumbents Race Multiple Opponents
  • Lamar State College Orange Students Sound Out on Important Questions of Interest to All Orange Residents and Property Owners

On Thursday, March 23, Lamar State College Orange and Citizens for An Improved Orange will host a forum for people to learn about the candidates for the two contested City Council positions in Orange. The event will be held at the Lamar State College Orange Student Center Gym, 407 Green Avenue.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for an early meet and greet with the candidates and for the community to submit their questions for the candidates. The forum starts promptly at 6:00 p.m. and will end at 7:30 p.m.

Students from a variety of campus programs, including Allied Health, Criminal Justice, Vocational Education, and student organizations prepared questions on topics ranging from jobs and the local economy, law enforcement, concerns and needs of young people, and streets and drainage. “This event gives our students a real-life role and responsibility in thinking about their city and what they want it to be. Elected bodies, such as the Orange City Council, make important decisions that affect everyone on a day-to-day basis,” said Andy Preslar, Director of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and a faculty member teaching English at the Lamar Orange campus.

Sandra Hoke is a volunteer with an informal group organized for this event, which is called “Citizens for An Improved Orange.” She stated that there will be an opportunity from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the community to write down their questions for the candidates. “What do you see as important to improving Orange? Jobs? Better roads and drainage? It’s your chance to hear and decide on who will represent you in the next few years,” she added.

The candidates are:
At-Large Position: Mary Ekene, Larry Spears, Jr. (incumbent), Veronica Monique Woodle
District 3 Position: Essie L. Bellfield (incumbent), Terrie T. Salter, Michael Smith

Voter registration for the May 6 election ends on April 6 and early voting at the Orange Public Library is the week of April 24.

Cindy Wyles, Lamar State College Orange, Director of Marketing, Public Information and Print Service, 409-330-3188 (mobile), 409-882-3359 (office)

Sandra Hoke, Citizens for An Improved Orange, 409-670-6249 (mobile)