Monday, 08 October 2018 21:20

8 Candidates on Tap for Richmond Young Professionals' Pints & Politics

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Richmond Young Professionals will host its second Pints and Politics event Tuesday night at the Rockingham VFW. Richmond Young Professionals will host its second Pints and Politics event Tuesday night at the Rockingham VFW. Photo Illustration by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Some might think mixing alcohol and politics is a bad idea, but one local group is doing just that.

Richmond Young Professionals is hosting its second Pints and Politics event Tuesday, where constituents can have a brew or two and ask questions of candidates for office.

RYP member David Stogner said the addition of beer is a way to bring out some young adults who might not otherwise get involved.

“We thought it would lighten the mood a little bit,” he said. “We didn’t want it to be stale … just a light atmosphere, so people felt that they could have a one-on-one conversation with somebody running for office.”

Stogner and Joey Bennett will serve as moderators for the town hall-style event.

On tap for the event will be state Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, and challenger Helen Probst Mills and all six candidates for the Richmond County Board of Commissioners (incumbents Ben Moss, Don Bryant and Herb Long and challengers Tavares Bostic, Rick Watkins and Jim Entwistle).

Other candidates scheduled to give an introduction are state Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, who will square off next month against Republican Joey Davis and Green Party candidate Justin Miller; and Jeff Scott, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House District 9. 

RYP member Seth Allen added that Democratic candidate Dan McCready’s campaign will send a representative and Republican candidate Mark Harris’ campaign cited a scheduling conflict for not being able to attend.

Doors open at the Rockingham VFW Post at 6 p.m., with a 20-minute social session for candidates and audience members to mingle. 

The speakers without opponents present will have a few minutes each to introduce themselves and questions for the state Senate candidates will begin around 6:30 and run for about 45 minutes, followed by the county commissioner hopefuls.

There is no set fee for entry to the forum, but donations will be accepted at the door and will go back to the VFW, Allen said.

In addition to a cash bar, light refreshments (finger foods) will be served.

Richmond Young Professionals and the VFW are both non-partisan organizations.

The inaugural Pints and Politics was held prior to the 2016 election and was one of RYP’s first public events that involved people outside of the 24-40 age group. Stogner said the group plans to make it a biannual event.

“We have a lot of active members … a group of young people looking to make Richmond County better,” Stogner said. “We thought by having a forum like this it would allow them to get involved in politics and kind of shape some of the decisions that are affecting us.”