Ardmore NAACP hosts candidate forum for prospective Ardmore City Commissioners

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ricky McGee hosts a candidate forum for potential Ardmore City Comissioners held by the NAACP. All seven candidates spoke at the event emceed by KXII new reporter Caroline Cluiss.

The Ardmore Chapter of the NAACP hosted a candidate forum for prospective Ardmore City Commissioners on Thursday evening. All seven candidates were given six questions in advance, and they shared their responses to three of them during the event. Their answers to the remaining six questions will be posted to social media and published in their entirety in The Ardmoreite in the coming days.

Cheryl Key helped bring together the event.

“We’ve had a lot of changes over the past year, and we felt like it was time to start building bridges between all of the different and diverse communities,” Key said. “We want to find a way that we can communicate and come together to try to understand each other’s different views so that we can find a consensus in the best way to move forward.”

Prior to the forum, the NAACP posted a survey to social media to identify the concerns people would like to see addressed within the community. A committee then designed the questions in a way that addressed the top issues identified within the survey. Key said she thinks the questions did a good job in addressing those issues.

“I think they addressed the issues that were very important to the constituents of the NAACP,” Key said. “It’s not only an organization for people who are Black, but also for the Hispanic community, Native communities, and other marginalized communities. So we think we need to find a way to bring everybody into the fold in a much broader way to recognize and address all people.

Host Ricky McGee also addressed this point at the close of the forum.

“So many people have misconceptions about the NAACP,” McGee said. “We are not just a Black organization, and we don’t only look into and address issues for the Black community. This NAACP organization is an organization for all, and we certainly need your support. We are making our business to make a proactive approach to all community issues and community problems. We are trying to make a difference in our community and we certainly would love to have all of you become a part of the NAACP.”

Prior to the meeting, Together Oklahoma set up a booth to help register voters, and to help registered voters request absentee ballots. Stephanie Coleman worked the booth, and she said they helped around 10 people get registered. Coleman then stayed through the forum.

“I truly enjoyed the meeting,” she said. “There was a lot of good information that we needed to learn about the candidates.”

An audio recording of the entire candidate forum is available to stream through anchor.fm, and a video is available on Facebook from the Ardmore Chapter NAACP group page. Transcripts from the event as well as the candidates’ answers to three questions not covered during the forum will also be available on their Facebook page.