In a political season that, at best, can be described as complicated and confusing, where write-ins are as widespread as incumbents and candidates have been embroiled in election litigation since the spring, Aiken Standard/ASTV is attempting to demystify the election and the candidatesí platforms during a public forum next week

Those running for key local and state offices in contested races have been invited to participate in the forum on Monday, Oct. 15, at the Aiken Municipal Center, 214 Park Ave. S.W.

The forum will be televised live on ASTV 95 from 7 until 9 p.m.

The event is open to the community and to all candidates who would like to meet and greet potential voters.

Candidates will be asked to provide a brief opening statement, answer a moderatorís questions and give a brief closing statement.

Additionally, Republican Aiken County Councilman Scott Singer and Republican County Council Chairman Ronnie Young will face off on the countywide referendum, which calls for a change in the form of Aiken Countyís government from a Council-Administrator form to a Council-Manager form. Singer has been a vocal advocate of the change, which would give County Council the option to make the auditor and treasurer positions appointed employees who would report directly to the County Manager. Young opposes the change.

In days leading up to the forum, Aiken Standard will publish the names of those candidates who have committed to and are unable to attend the forum, and readers are encouraged to send questions that may be asked of those candidates.

Questions for the candidates can be emailed to The forum will be posted to the for replay on demand. For more information, call Karen Daily at 644-2383.

Key contested seats and candidates asked to participate in the forum include: S.C. State Senate District 26

Incumbent Democrat Nikki Setzler

Republican Deedee Vaughters

S.C. House of Representatives District 81

Petition candidate Jane Vaughters

Republican Don Wells

District 86

Write-in challenger David Lobb

Incumbent Republican Bill Taylor


Incumbent Republican Michael Hunt

Write-in challenger Jim Vause

Probate Judge

Republican Jane Page Thompson

Democratic Incumbent Sue Roe


Write-in John Cagle

Write-in Debra Folk

Write-in Jason Goings

Write-in Angela Gunter

Write-in Melssa Oremus

Write-in Robin Saylor

Write-in Ed Smith

Write-in Sonya Spray

School Board District 8

Tad Barber

Wes Funderberg

Bruce Wheelon