Republican Party forum

The Times to host a candidate forum in Patterson April 20

Pierce County’s Republican Party has canceled their forum for the Sheriff’s race but their reason for doing so remains unclear. The forum was initially set for Saturday, March 21.

“We canceled the event,” said Shawn Godwin, party member. “We wish all candidates the best of luck in their race.”

Robby Boatright declined an invitation to participate, citing concerns over local Party officers’ connections to Sheriff Ramsey Bennett. Greg Stone told The Times he didn’t intend to participate in any forum this election season.

Gary Simmons told The Times last week he still planned to attend the Republican Party forum had it not been canceled. Sheriff Bennett says he never received word from party members that the event was, in fact, canceled.

“You’re the first person who’s actually called and told me that .. I’ve not heard a word from them, nothing,” Bennett told Times’ News Editor Sarah Gove Monday morning. “I’m not dodging any public gathering where anybody might ask me a question. I’m open for all questions. I don’t have anything to hide and I’ll answer anybody’s question anywhere.”

Pierce Countians will still have at least one public opportunity to hear from three of the four candidates seeking the office of Sheriff when The Blackshear Times hosts a forum Monday, April 20. (See related story).