Announcing the 2013 OP Online Candidate Forums

The editors of OrangePolitics are excited to announce our live online candidate forums for the upcoming elections for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, the Chapel Hill Town Council, and the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners.

We are also excited to host an informal Conversation With the Mayors, which will include the candidates in all three of the county’s uncontested mayoral races. 


  • UNC law professor Barbara Fedders, a specialist in juvenile delinquency and criminal law and an advocate for school discipline reform, will serve as the moderator of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board forum.

  • Local journalist Vanessa Shortley, editor of the News of Orange, will serve as the moderator of the Hillsborough forum.

  • Local journalist Kirk Ross, editor of the Carolina Mercury, former editor of the Carrboro Citizen, and a regular columnist for the Independent Weekly, will serve as the moderator of the Carrboro and Chapel Hill forums.

  • Mark Chilton, the outgoing mayor of Carrboro, will moderate the Conversation With the Mayors.


  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education: Sunday, September 22, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Hillsborough Board of Commissioners: Sunday, September 29, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Carrboro Board of Aldermen: Sunday, October 6, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Chapel Hill Town Council: Sunday, October 13, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Conversation With the Mayors: Sunday, October 20, 7:00-9:00 pm

Each forum will consist of a real-time written conversation between the candidates and the moderator. Questions for the forums will be solicited from OrangePolitics readers both before and during the forums. As with our previous candidate forums, the moderator will have final say in question selection. The forums will take place online at, with one evening dedicated to each race covered.

Readers will be encouraged to observe each forum and to participate in a simultaneous, separate blog thread where they can discuss the forum and propose follow-up questions. OP editors will monitor this discussion in real time and feed readers' questions and follow-up topics to the moderator. Candidates will also be encouraged to ask each other questions and to comment on each others' responses.

Now is the time to start suggesting forum topics and questions. You can make your suggestions via comments on this blog post, the OP contact form (, Twitter (, and Facebook (

For more information about the 2013 election, visit the election section of OP for important dates and more at



Directed at whomever the question is appropriate for:As you know, the state legislature's recent FY14 budget imposes substantial cuts in public education. Overall, compared to FY08, the FY14 budget provides $500 million less in real dollars. These cuts, which include the elimination of thousands of teachers assistant positions statewide, come despite the fact that the state population continues to grow. Do you think an increase in local funding for education through a tax increase is needed to fully support our teachers and students and ensure that they continue to receive the high-quality education that CHCCS provides to all its students, and would you support such an increase? Thanks. 

Another great way to suggest questions for specific races is to comment on the events for each forum. They're listed at


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