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Spencer Pride

Commissioner Candidates Forum to Take Place (Virtually) on April 14

UPDATE:  This will now be an online-only event for those who wish to participate.  Please stay tuned for additional details on how to view the event via Facebook Live on April 14th at 6 PM. Thank you!

As announced in late February, Spencer Pride is hosting a free public forum for the candidates running for office of Owen County Commissioner.  This forum will take place on Tuesday, April 14th at 6 PM at the Spencer Pride commUnity center (17 E. Franklin Street, Spencer).  Spencer Pride is coordinating this event to provide an opportunity for Owen County voters to become more informed about the positions of the candidates seeking this important office.

In light of current concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, this meeting will also be available via Facebook live streaming.  

The forum is inclusive of all candidates seeking the officer of Owen County Commissioner, regardless of district or party affiliation.   Owen County Republican Party Chair Tony Voelker & Owen County Democratic Party Chair Frank Coffin received a letter from Spencer Pride on March 2 so that they could formally extend the invitation to the candidates of their respective parties.  Candidates who may not have received this letter should reach out to Spencer Pride president Jonathan Balash at

The forum will take place regardless of the number of participants or political party affiliation. Political parties will not be permitted to table at the event or to canvas participants inside the venue.

The Commissioner Candidates Forum will take place at 17 E. Franklin Street in downtown Spencer at 6 PM. Parking is free in downtown after 5 PM.

The forum will be moderated by Spencer Pride representatives. In order to ensure that the forum is conducive to educating voters about the candidates’ positions, the moderator(s) will establish simple rules for format and length of responses. We will expect that all candidates participating will treat each other and the audience with respect.

During the forum, candidates will answer written questions from the public.  Written questions are being accepted online ( & in person at the event venue at 17 E. Franklin Street in advance of the event. Questions may include any topic relevant to the office of Owen County Commissioner.    Questions must be submitted by April 4, 2020.  No questions will be taken from the audience the night of the forum.

Questions submitted will be screened by a Spencer Pride representative using two criteria:

  1. relevance to the office of Owen County Commissioner (US Immigration Policy, for example, would not be appropriate as this policy is not made made the Owen County Commissioners).
  2. diversity of topics (we want the forum to include a wide-range of topics from throughout the county, not focus on any one or two topics).

Questions which are selected will not be provided to any candidate in advance of the forum.  Like many events which take place at the Spencer Pride commUnity center, this is not an LGBTQ-specific forum. This is not a forum specifically on the topic of downtown events. These topics may come up at the forum if submitted by the public & selected by the Spencer Pride representative.

“We are looking forward to an informative evening with the candidates,” said Jonathan Balash.  “Last summer, we began discussing hosting a forum like this, well before the special events ordinance came up.  We are happy to be able to facilitate this opportunity for Owen County voters to learn more about the candidates & issues of importance to them.”

The media is invited & encouraged to attend in order to capture the candidates’ positions on important Owen County issues.

Spencer Pride is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Spencer, Indiana. Spencer Pride does not endorse political parties or candidates. Spencer Pride does encourage citizens to engage with candidates, to learn about the candidates’ positions, and to vote. Spencer Pride is permitted to encourage voters to support issues relevant to the organization’s mission.

Individuals who want more information about this event or who want to assist with the event should contact Jonathan Balash at