Ohio County deputies are inviting the public to attend a formal discussion with candidates for sheriff this month.
The Ohio County Deputy Sheriff's Association is hosting a sheriff's candidate forum set for 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the Blaskovich Center in Triadelphia, previously known as Triadelphia Town Hall.
All four candidates for sheriff have indicated they will be in attendance, said Deputy G.J. Costello, president of the Ohio County Deputy Sheriff's Association. Republican candidates in the May 8 primary election are incumbent Pat Butler and John Powell. On the Democratic ticket, former sheriff Thomas Burgoyne has a contest with George Fahey.
"We just want to have a chance to sit down with the candidates, and speak with them about the issues facing the department over the next four years," said Cpl. Rod Vaught, a deputy helping to organize the event.
Vaught wouldn't yet say which issues are most important to the deputies, but he noted deputies are presently getting their thoughts together and preparing questions for the event. He added the deputies believe it is important the public be in attendance when they address the candidates.
"A good voter is an educated voter," Vaught said. "We don't want to see people vote for one of the candidates because they are friends, or because of the 'buddy system.' We want them to listen to the issues and decide which candidate is best to serve in the office."
Vaught noted the deputies are presently seeking a moderator for the event. They want someone who is "non-partial" and not affiliated with any candidates.
"We have not found anybody yet," Vaught added. "We're looking for the most unbiased person we can find."
The Ohio County Deputy Sheriff's Association currently has 26 members, he said. All deputies with the department more than one year who have completed their probation period are eligible to join.