Candidate for State Controller Ron Knecht talks about his experience as an economist at the candidate forum. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Candidate for State Controller Ron Knecht talks about his experience as an economist at the candidate forum. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Local and state-wide candidates for the upcoming White Pine County general election got a chance to answer questions from the public and inform voters on why they are the best choice for the job at The Ely Times-sponsoredCandidate Forum at the convention center on Tuesday evening. Speaking to a crowd of over 140 locals, candidates for all of the local races and several state campaigns used their allotted time to go over their education backgrounds, their relevant experience and what issues they were most concerned with tackling upon being elected.

The four-hour event began with statewide candidate for Nevada Assemblyman John Ellison thanking those in attendance and speaking about how he has helped fight for important rural issues such as water rights alongside State Senator Pete Goicoechea. The format allowed for the candidate to speak for six minutes about themselves and their platform, before answering questions from the crowd. The presentations alternated between a candidate running for a state-wide position to a local one.  In addition to addressing everyone in attendance at once, candidates also spent breaks in the forum answering questions one on one.

One of the most commonly asked questions from the audience in attendance was how candidates felt about ballot questions 2 and 3, referring to the Education Initiative (or Margin Tax) and an increased tax rate on mining companies respectively. Both ballot questions, were almost uniformly denounced, with only State Controller candidate Andrew Martin saying he was in support of ballot question 2. Phil Henry, a representative for the White Pine Tea Party, said he couldn’t be more opposed to both questions during a presentation by each political parties representative.