84th State District Candidate forum tonight

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Tonight, a forum sponsored by Mitch Harper and Fort Wayne Observed, will be held at the St. Joseph Township Hall at 7 PM which is located at the northwest corner of Maplecrest and St. Joe Center Roads.

Following is an e-mail from Mitch Harper, editor of Fort Wayne Observed, regarding details about tonight’s 84th State District candidate forum:

The planned format is to have a short welcome by me. Then the hosting will be turned over to Daniel Woodruff of FOX 55.
The forum will consist of two and possibly three sections of questions.


1. Each candidate will have up to 4 minutes for an introduction, statement of qualifications, and opening statement. (Possible total time 16 minutes). The order of speaking will be determined by a random selection.

Candidates will be presented with a proposition. The candidate to whom the question is presented may take either the affirmative or the negative. The candidate may take up to 4 minutes for a response. Every other candidate may then respond for up to 3 minutes in length.

Candidates will be given up to 1 minute for a rebuttal or response.

It is not expected that candidates will use up their entire time allotted for a response and rebuttal. (Possible time for each proposition – 17 minutes).
The order of candidates will be determined by random drawing. However, each candidate will be given a proposition. These may be in the nature of: “The Indiana legislature should legalize assisted suicide” or “The legislature should adopt redactive voting.”

Expect the propositions to refer to large topics that will give each candidate an opportunity to talk about a large issue area.


Each candidate will be given the opportunity to direct a question to another – specific – candidate. That is, Bob Morris may decide to direct a question to Jon Olinger; Derek Pillie may decide to direct a question to Bill Brown. A candidate will be given one minute to ask the question. The responding candidate will be given up to 3 minutes to respond. The questioning candidate will be given up to 2 minutes to respond. Then the other 2 candidates will be given 1 minute to respond. Then the candidate to whom the question is directed may have a 1 minute final response.

One candidate could end up having 3 questions directed at him. However, the forum is geared toward having an open forum – not ‘ganging up.’


If there is additional time in the forum then there will be an opportunity for no more than four questions collected in writing from the audience prior to the start of the forum. Mr. Woodruff will also have the opportunity to ask a question of his own.


Each candidate will have two minutes to close regardless of whether there is a third Section.

The goal is to end the forum at 8:30 PM. or sooner.

There are four announced candidates on the Republican side:

  • Allen County Commissioner Bill Brown
  • Former Fort Wayne Community Schools Board member Jon Olinger
  • 3rd Congressional District Director Derek Pillie
  • Local business owner Bob Morris.

I believe this is just for the Republican candidates as a Caucus will be held to determine former Representative Randy Borror’s replacement on the November ballot.

The Democrat’s candidate is Fort Wayne resident Evan Smith.

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