Thedford – Tuesday, October 11 between fifty and sixty residents from Blaine, Cherry, Hooker and Thomas Counties came after the homecoming pep rally to the old gym at the high school to hear from the candidates of the contested races for the local board of education and the 43rd district senate race.
The night was sponsored by the Thedford Service Club and organized by its secretary, Terri Licking. “I found one of only two dates available the school staff and students could help with,” The week was indeed busy as it was homecoming week at the school. Prior to the candidate’s forum, the pep rally had been held with the traditional speeches from the coaches and senior students of cross country, volleyball and football, followed by the burning of the ‘M’ as Maxwell wildcats will come to town Friday for a 2 p.m. kick-off.
Staff Jim York, principal, Rose Gift, FCCLA/Art helped set up for the forum, as did student Anthony Benscotter. Kolby Hamilton, sponsor of the Student Council helped his senior students, Tristen Haake, Clancy Hesseltine, and Jentri Sherman comprise ten questions for the board of education candidates. The students then moderated that segment. There are four vying for three positions, all attended -Matt Blackford, Brownlee, Jay Jones, Bridget Licking and Jim Mills all of Thedford. The questions from the students were so well rounded, when asked for audience questions few were given. The contested race for one position on the Upper Loup NRD, Gary Reiser, incumbent and Miles Maseberg, had only Maseberg present. Due to time constraints, Maseberg waived his time to address the audience.
After the board of education, the two senate candidates came forward. Retired from the military, Col. Tom Brewer of Gordon/Murdock and current senator, Al Davis, Hyannis, who is seeking his second term. The moderator became Service Club president Russell Licking, and time keeper was Principal York. The gentleman had two minutes each opening and closing statements and to answer the questions. All questions came from the audience and topics included the candidates’ views on the death penalty, wind, prison overcrowding and cutting property taxes.
Ninety minutes later, moderator Licking called an end as no more questions had been received. The candidates stayed after to address questions. “I was impressed on the smoothness, the articulation of the moderator, and I liked how they kept time, not by colored cards but by ability to see the countdown. I deemed this better than last night’s at Alliance,” stated Brewer when thanked for coming. Davis too complemented the Service Club and the school staff for the opportunity to debate on the eastern end of the district. The senate candidates are scheduled to debate for a third time at Chadron State College on October 18.