Apr 8, 2014
Coleman, Hutchinson Square Off in Conway
Last night marks the first time Arkansas gubernatorial hopefuls Curtis Coleman and Asa Hutchinson appeared alone together at a candidate event during this primary election season. Faulkner County Tea Party’s Gubernatorial Forum between what seems to be the top two GOP candidates packed the room at the McGee Center. At least five or six independent...
At least five or six independent journalists/bloggers, along with the local newspaper, documented the event. Channel 7’s Matt McMershon reported:
CONWAY (KATV) – Both republican candidates vying for the governor’s office faced off in a forum on Monday night. The forum ran the gamut, covering topics from tax reform to education, and the setup for the forum made for some interesting situations.
The forum was an opportunity for a meet and greet with the two GOP candidates running for governor.
Although former Congressman Asa Hutchinson is considered the front runner for the May primary, challenger businessman Curtis Coleman appeared to be a favorite at the Tea Party sponsored event. But the people in attendance were there to listen and better understand what each candidate stands for. (read more)
At the forum, moderator Faulkner County Tea Party Chair Philip Fletcher asked several questions that were divided into one-word, 30-second, and 60-second response categories — a format that garnered both positive and negative reactions from many attendees.
Some said the limited answer format made it difficult for the candidates to fully explain a given response; however, others said they enjoyed the format as it allowed more topics to be covered and gave them a good overview of where the candidates stand.
A political consultant in the room noted the format “makes it difficult on candidates to prepare ahead of time” as the candidate does not know which questions will be one-word, 30-second, or 60-second answers (even though they are fully informed of the overall format prior to the event).
FCTP solicits questions and topics for every candidate forum over a period of weeks before a scheduled event, with the intent that all issues of concern can be covered during the forum. The group adopted this format after experimenting at its past candidate events with a debate format — where candidates talk in depth about only a few issues — and “open-mike” events — which seem responsive to only those individuals willing to publicly ask questions.