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Events planned to meet local candidates
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Early voting for the May 24th Election gets underway in less than three weeks, but there is still time to get to know the local candidates before going to the polls.

Voters have the chance to hear from candidates at two separate events.

The first will be a meet and greet on April 26 at Dawson County Middle School.

Held by the Dawson County Republican Party, the event that begins at 6:15 p.m. will feature candidates from each of the local contested races.

In Dawson County, there are contested races for sheriff, tax commissioner and three seats on the board of commissioners.

Candidates have been offered the opportunity to set up informational tables to pass out literature, campaign signs and talk one on one with voters.

There will be no formal question and answer session at the meet and greet.

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce is having a forum for candidates running for tax commissioner and the three county commission seats a week later on May 2 at Dawson County High School.

Chamber President Christie Haynes said the event will give members and the community a chance to hear why the candidates are seeking office, as well as their vision for their respective position.

"Each candidate will receive three minutes for an opening statement and two minutes for a closing statement," she said. "All candidates will be given equal time to answer each question."

Questions for the forum will be submitted by chamber members and decided upon by the chamber's advocacy committee.

Candidates will not have access to the questions prior to the forum.

Haynes said there will be three separate question and answer sessions at the event.

The forum for tax commissioner candidates begins at 6 p.m.; County Commission Districts 2 and 4 at 6:50 p.m.; and Commissioner Chairman at 7:40 p.m.

Questions from the audience will not be permitted.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Early voting for the General Primary runs from May 2-20 at the Dawson County Board of Elections Office, which is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office will also be open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. May 14 for Saturday voting.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on May 24, Election Day.

The county commission races are likely to be decided at the conclusion of the May 24 primary as there are no Democratic candidates seeking the three seats.

Pundits anticipate a runoff in the sheriff and tax commissioner races, which each are fielding four candidates.

A single candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote in the primary to secure the seat outright without a runoff.

If a runoff date is needed, the election will be held July 26, with early voting held weekdays June 5-22.