Over 20 candidates vying for seats in local, state and national offices participated in BenitoLink’s 2022 Primary Election Forum on April 19 at the Granada Theater in Hollister. About 170 people attended the two-hour event.
Candidates for Congress, secretary of state, California Assembly, San Benito County Board of Supervisors, district attorney and sheriff-coroner answered questions on local issues such as the landfill, immigration, crime, representing an agricultural county and revenue.
Assembly District 29 candidate Stephanie Castro prompted a cheer from a group of attendees when she spoke of her concern about the current educational trends being proposed on sexual education and critical race theory—the idea that racism is a systemic problem in America’s institutions.
The district attorney and the sheriff-coroner races were among the most spirited with candidates going back-and-forth on the topics.
Candidates from each race were given three questions with one minute to answer each. BenitoLink did not provide the questions to candidates in advance. Candidates were also given 30 seconds for an introduction and 45 seconds for a closing statement.
About a month before the forum, BenitoLink launched a survey asking residents to submit questions they wanted candidates to answer. By the April 18 deadline, 19 people had submitted questions and topics they thought candidates should address. BenitoLink used the residents’ input to create the forum questions.
The majority of the comments on the 94 surveys that were returned to BenitoLink following the forum said it was informative, professional and a benefit to the community. One survey stated the questions were partisan.
BenitoLink will make the video of the forum available for viewing on its YouTube channel by April 29. The video will also be posted on our website and social media accounts.
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