The Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Candidates Forum on Tuesday, February 27. The forum will be held in the banquet rooms of the Unique Suites Hotel located at 920 West Lincoln Avenue in Charleston.

Candidates for the contested positions in the primary have agreed to participate in the forum. Those candidates are:

  • For Coles County Clerk: Julie Coffey Coe and Jackie Freezeland;
  • For Coles County Sheriff: James “Jimmy” Rankin and Steve Spear;
  • For State Representative for the 110th District: Terry Davis and Chris Miller.

Gail Mason, EIU Professor Emeritus, will act as the moderator. The forum will be conducted in three parts.

Candidates for County Clerk will debate starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by the candidates for County Sheriff at 6:45 p.m. and the candidates for State Representative at 7:45 p.m.

Candidates will introduce themselves and give opening statements. The audience will then have an opportunity to ask questions. All questions must be submitted in writing and will be screened before being given to the candidates.

The forum is free and open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to attend and get informed for the primary vote on March 20.

The Charleston and Mattoon Chambers of Commerce invite business owners, employees and community residents to attend the Community Update Breakfast on Thursday, March 8 from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m.

The breakfast is sponsored by Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative and First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Todd Maisch, President & CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce will be the guest speaker at the breakfast. Maisch joined the Illinois Chamber in 1994 and was instrumental in building the Chamber’s reputation as the state’s leading champion for business. President & CEO since 2014, Maisch’s leadership of a team of policy experts, business advocates, and communicators impacts the legislative, regulatory and judicial branches of Illinois government.

Maisch will be giving an overview of the Illinois Chamber’s advocacy efforts and his perspective on the state of the economy in Illinois. Time has also been allotted for questions from the audience after his presentation.

The Community Update Breakfast will take place in the banquet facility at the Unique Suites Hotel, 920 West Lincoln Avenue in Charleston.

Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required by March 5.

Tickets are $20 per person for Mattoon and Charleston Chamber members and $30 per person for non-members. A buffet breakfast is included. Community residents are welcome to attend.

Registration can be done online at the Charleston Chamber website at www.charlestonchamber.com or download the form from the Mattoon Chamber website at www.mattoonchamber.com.

Cindy White is president and chief executive officer of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce.

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