Editor’s note: The full transcript of each candidate’s questions will appear in the Sunday edition of The Ardmoreite.

The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and the Ardmore Young Professionals held a Candidate Forum Thursday evening at the Goddard Center in Ardmore.
All candidates for local contested primaries were invited to participate. In addition to the candidates, there was also a question and answer period for State Question 788.
Mita Bates, the president and CEO of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, said this is the second forum of this type the group has put together. The first event was a response to low voter turn out, Bates said.
“We hope to encourage people to get out and vote by helping them be informed of the issues,” Bates said.
The event drew about 165 people total, Bates said. “Some people came and then left, but overall it was a great turn out,” Bates said. The moderators for the event included Sara Donahoe Jones from Valero, Joe Hill from Chickasaw Business Services and Dave Mordy, Chair of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce. The questions were pre-determined and were “multi-partisan,” said Bates. Each candidate was given a minute to introduce themselves and then allotted time for each question.
Like many other areas of the state, there was record turn out in terms of those filing for candidacy.
“This is the first time in years we have had so many contested primaries for so many seats here,” Bates said.
The candidates who participated included both Republican candidates for State Senate District 14, Frank Simpson (incumbent) and Joe Caudle, and all four candidates for State House of Representatives District 48, Democrats Cheryl Key and Jordan Buck and Republicans Tammy Townley and Jason May. Each candidate addressed the audience, giving their qualifications for office and discussing their positions on key issues including the budget issues facing the state and ongoing partisan issues in the State Legislature. The full video is available online at Ardmoreite.com.
The primary election will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 26. Early voting will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Thursday June 21 and Friday June 22 as well as 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday June 23. Early voting will take place at the Carter County Election Board located at 25 A Street NW Suite 100. Sample ballots are available online at elections.ok.gov.