By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Voters will have at least two opportunities to meet Republican congressional candidates vying for the 1st District seat, but incumbent Alan Nunnelee won’t be among them.
Organizers, though, said they’ll keep an open seat in case the freshman congressman changes his mind.
The Lee County Republican Party will host the first event – a candidate forum – Monday at the Gloster Creek Village Food Court. It starts at 6 p.m. and will last about one hour.
Anyone is welcome to attend, said party executive committee chairman Mike Maynard, explaining that each candidate will have several minutes to speak before taking questions from the crowd.
The second event – a debate – will take place March 6 at the Lee County Library. Organized by the Tupelo Tea Party, it will start at 6 p.m. and also last about one hour.
Voters can submit questions for the debate to Tea Party spokesman Grant Sowell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will be compiled and read to the candidates during the event, he said.
Congressional hopefuls Henry Ross of Eupora and Robert Estes of Southaven confirmed their presence at both events. A Nunnelee representative will attend the forum, Maynard said.
Nunnelee’s campaign manager Morgan Baldwin told the Daily Journal the congressman hasn’t been able to fit those types of events into his busy schedule. Nunnelee spends most of his week in Washington, D.C.
But Sowell and Ross questioned the anticipated absences. Sowell aired his grievances in a pair of newspaper ads. Ross told the Daily Journal he didn’t think Nunnelee could defend his record to the public.
Baldwin said Nunnelee has repeatedly made himself available to the public throughout his term in a series of town hall meetings.