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Crud keeps candidates away

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    The Vindicator | Casey Stinnett — Challenging Congressman Brian Babin for his District 36 seat, candidate R.J. Boatman makes a few opening remarks before answering questions at tonights Republican candidate forum, but he did not get the chance to debate with the incumbent, who was unable to attend.
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    The Vindicator | Casey Stinnett — The County Court-at-Law No. 2 candidates who made the forum — Zack Zbranek, Michelle Mangum-Merendino and Wes Hinch answer questions read by the moderators.
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    The Vindicator | Casey Stinnett — Candidates for the new County Court-at-Law No. 2 Wes Hinch and Zack Zbranek chat before the forum began.

What’s that line about “best laid plans”? The candidate forum tonight was more sparsely populated by both audience members and candidates than had been hoped.

Co-sponsored by the Liberty County Republican Party and the Republican Liberty Caucus of Congressional District 36, a number of candidates called in sick and two of the five candidates for the newly created county court-at-law had plans with their families, according to the organizers.

Two of the candidates who did make it, Toby Wilburn and Jacob Cantu, suspect that some of the candidates might have picked up whatever crud is going around at Tuesday evening’s candidate meet and greet in Dayton.

Whatever is going around might well have kept the public away, too. When the event began at 5:30 p.m. fewer than 60 heads could be counted in the Opry, including candidates, moderators, and the public.

The very large turnout at the services at the Methodist Church for Kenneth Berry might also have kept more people from attending the candidate forum.

Among the candidates who did make it to the forum, and were spotted by your editor while he was still there, were State Rep. Ernest Bailes; congressional candidate R.J. Boatman; judicial candidates Zack Zbranek, Michelle Mangum-Merendino and Wes Hinch; pct. 1 commissioner candidate Toby Wilburn; pct. 1 constable candidates Wayne Moody, Tammy Bishop and Jacob Cantu; and running for reelection, District Attorney Logan Pickett.


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