Update: Paris City Council candidate forum is at 6 p.m.Thursday

alcr logoThe Association of Lamar County Republicans will host a Paris City Council Candidate forum at 6 p.m. Thursday in the district courtroom on the second floor of the Lamar County Courthouse in Paris.

The forum comes four days before early voting begins on Monday (April 28).

Six of the eight candidates have announced they will participate, forum coordinator Jimmie Kruntorad said.

Early voting continues Monday through Friday of next week, plus Monday and Tuesday of the following week, leading up to the Saturday, May 10 election.


To help educate voters, eParisExtra.com will follow the forum with word and photo coverage of the candidate responses.


Participating will be:

  • From District 1: Incumbent Aaron Jenkins (opposed by former District 1 councilman Joe McCarthy, who has declined the invitation);
  • From District 2: Incumbent Sue Lancaster and challenger Kelly John Collins;
  • From District 3: Incument John Wright (opposed by Benny Plata, who has declined the invitation);
  • From District 6: Incumbent Cleonne Holmes Drake and challenger Edwin Pickle.

The six candidates who accepted the invitation to participate have been provided nine questions concerning the city and individual districts, Kruntorad said.

As time allows, the questions will be asked of all candidates, Kruntorad said. The candidates themselves were invited to suggest possible questions to be included in the mix.

As opposed to county, state and federal elections, city council elections are non-partisan.

Kruntorad said the Association of Lamar County Republicans is offering the forum “to promote an informed electorate through political education and involve citizens in the political process.


eParisExtra will follow the forum coverage with a separate report on candidates’ responses to other questions submitted by eParisExtra columnist/city council reporter Charles Richards to provide further insight into candidate positions on the issues.


Council terms are for two years. The City Charter allows individuals to serve up to three consecutive 2-year terms, after which they must sit out at least two years before they may serve again.

Charles Richards, eParisExtra


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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.