City of Sumter voters will get the chance to evaluate all three candidates in the upcoming mayoral race at the same time when the political opponents will face off next month in a two-hour debate hosted by the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and the Sumter Board of Realtors.
Incumbent Joe McElveen, who is seeking a fifth term in office, as well as his two challengers – retired Air Force general William “Dutch” Holland and entertainer and recording artist Charlie Jones – are all expected to attend the forum moderated by retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and mental health professional Lefford Fate.
Scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, at Sumter High School from 6 to 8 p.m. – the same day as the chamber’s Legislative Breakfast – the event will be approximately two weeks before voters head to the polls for this nonpartisan contest on the November general election ballot.
Fate said the exact format for the debate, which will be free and open to the public, is still being developed, but promotional materials for the event say organizers hope to include a question-and-answer portion in which attendees can submit their own questions to the candidates.
Two recent polls by Sumter Citizen have shown McElveen receiving a majority of the support from our readers. Another poll gauging online support for the local candidates is scheduled for next week.
Those wishing to receive an email reminder of the upcoming debate can submit their information to the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce via this link.