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Chamber to Host Candidate Forum Ahead of Primary Election

Voters in Columbia County will have a chance to learn more about registered Republican candidates vying for County Commissioner during a public candidate forum to be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 7:00pm at the Central Columbia High School Auditorium.  The event will be hosted by the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee, and is set to take place one week before the municipal primary election.

On the May 16 Republican primary ballot for Columbia County Commissioner, nine individuals are vying to represent their party on the general election ballot.  Of those nine (Earl Skip Mordan, Dean A Brewer, Roger D. Glidewell, Kerry J Parkes, Tim Burke, Randy Karschner, Rich Ridgway, Andrew L Detwiler, and Matthew Good), only two will be selected by voters.

In the Democratic primary, there are two registered candidates for County Commissioner seeking two spots on the ballot: David M Kovach and Patricia Lawton.

“We think there’s an opportunity to offer voters an informative and meaningful forum” said Chamber president Chris Berleth, who will serve as the event’s moderator.  “We’re also grateful to the students of the Central Columbia Communications and Technology Department who will be helping us live stream the event.”

The event is open to the public, pre-registration is required.

The format for the event will be a modified debate. Each candidate will be presented with the same questions in rotating order with two minutes for each response. Questions screened from the in-person audience may also be presented if time permits. Candidates will also be given time for closing remarks.

“As a Chamber, we continue to host these events for primary and general elections to spotlight important business issues and offer voters a chance to gain exposure to candidates.  We don’t endorse candidates or parties,” said Berleth."

The Chamber has hosted candidate forums for several recent primary and general elections, including the general election forum for the 109th Legislative District (2022), the forum for the Democratic primary candidates in the Bloomsburg Mayoral Race (2021), and the Bloomsburg Town Council Candidate Forum (2021).  To register for the event on May 9, visit


The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce represents employers in supporting vibrant, sustainable communities in Columbia and Montour Counties.



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