Sitting onstage in front of a mostly empty auditorium at Columbia College Thursday night, all four candidates for two open seats on the Boone County Commission attended a debate that lasted no more than 15 minutes and allowed little time for disputation
The event, which followed a 90-minute debate between the candidates for the 9th District U.S. House of Representatives, featured Democratic incumbents Skip Elkin and Karen Miller and their respective Republican challengers, Jerry Carrington and Mike Asmus.
Each candidate was given a three-minute opening statement and a 30-second response.
“I think the real issue the county commission faces on a daily basis is a quality-of-life issue,” Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin said.
Elkin cited the importance of road maintenance and storm-water management in preserving what he sees as a high quality of life in the county.
Carrington, however, said Elkin has failed to maintain the roads. He said many roads have not received a “drop of maintenance” during Elkin’s term.
“I wouldn’t keep running for office if I didn’t feel I truly had something to offer this county,” Carrington said, referring to two previous races for northern district commissioner and one previous race for presiding commissioner.
Mike Asmus, the Republican challenger for southern district commissioner, used his time to recount his experience on Ashland’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Aldermen.
“I think those are the kinds of skills and abilities that would lend themselves to coming into the county commissioner’s office,” Asmus said.
Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller, the Democratic incumbent of 11 years, spoke about her experience and laid out her top priorities for another term.
“I can tell you that it is a very hard job, but it is a very rewarding job,” Miller said.
She said space needs for an expanding county government and better storm-water management would top her list of things to do.
As the candidates began their statements, the crowd of about 150 who attended the congressional debate thinned to about 50. The remaining attendees included many friends and family members of the candidates.
Among those who stayed was Alyce Turner, a resident of Boone County for 25 years, who said she wanted a longer debate.
“It was shorter than I expected,” Turner said.