Mayoral Candidate Forum

The Aiken Chamber of Commerce and the Aiken Young Professionals will host a Mayoral Candidate forum October 8 at Newberry Hall from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  Both candidates, Rick Osbon and Lessie Price, have agreed to participate. Questions from among those that have been previously submitted by the 1,000 members of the Aiken Chamber and the 275 members of the Aiken Young Professionals will be asked of both candidates. The forum is a platform that will allow each candidate to respond to each question. It is not a debate, and candidates' remarks will be addressed to the audience not one another.

“It’s a very important moment in time for Aiken," said Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson.  "On November 3, we will elect a new Mayor, and that person will have great influence on this community’s future. We want to make certain that the business agenda is clearly a part of the new Mayor’s platform.”

  • The Chamber believes it is essential for business and the public sector to seek out common ground and to find ways to bolster each other. Policies and practices that help strengthen a free enterprise system are those that do the following:

      - Allow businesses to grow and thrive
      - Free businesses from excessive taxes, unnecessary regulations and onerous local government processes
      - Focus government on the critical tasks that are the foundation of economic opportunity, such as
        infrastructure and protective services

      - Help educate, cultivate, and equip the next generation of young entrepreneurs and the workforce of the  
  •     future

    Charlie Hartz, vice-chair of public affairs for the Aiken Chamber said, “Chamber members will be looking for which candidate will embrace the issues that are most important to allowing business to grow and thrive.”

The Chamber’s Aiken Young Professionals group of 22-39 year-olds is co-hosting the event. The group focuses on networking, professional development and community involvement. Members serve as an avenue for attracting and retaining young professionals to the Aiken community.

AYP Chair Eric Brinkley said, “I once read that ‘Every race comes down to two things; the status quo and the future.’ Aiken's young professionals are this community's future.” Brinkley continued, “We are eager to learn how our mayoral candidates want to steer away from the status quo and capitalize on our enthusiasm for the future of our city.” 

Aiken Chamber members and AYP members should register for the Mayoral Candidate Forum at

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