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Get to know your local candidates this election season

Residents of the Cloquet area will be able to see their candidates in action at two different candidate forums this month.

The Candidate Forum at Cloquet City Hall on Oct. 20 will include candidates for Cloquet City Council, Cloquet School Board, Carlton County Board of Commissioners District 1, State Senate District 11 and State House District 11A.

The forum, which is sponsored by the Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce along with the Pine Journal, WKLK Radio and CAT-7, is open to the public.

There will be several different question-and-answer periods for the different local races, starting with Cloquet School Board (five candidates for three seats) at 6 p.m., followed by the Cloquet City Council races (four candidates for two seats) at 6:50 p.m., then the two Carlton County Commissioner candidates at 7:40 p.m. and, finally, the legislative candidates at 8:15 p.m.

The forum will be broadcast live on CAT-7 (channel 7 for cable TV subscribers) and on WKLK at AM 1230 or FM 96.5 or online at The Pine Journal will write about the forum. Peter Radosevich, host of Harry’s Gang on CAT-7, will moderate with assistance from Barry Bergquist. Candidates will have one-minute to respond to each questions, although there may be follow up questions for clarification or rebuttal.

The second forum for Cloquet City Council Ward 5 and at-large candidates is aiming for a more laid back approach, and may even begin with some potluck treats.

Sponsored by the Ward 5 Voter Coalition, the forum will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Oak Room at Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet. One of the organizers, Jan Salo Korby, described the forum as an “almost a get-to-know-your-neighbor sort of thing.” Each candidate will be able to discuss why he or she is running for 3-5 minutes at the beginning of the evening, followed by questions asked by a moderator. Questions will focus on Cloquet topics only, the type of things a city councillor might have to vote on.

“Old-fashioned, polite civility” will be the order of the day at this non-partisan event, Korby stressed.

“The way to bring civility back is by being civil,” she added.

The Pine Journal will also publish local candidate information in the weeks leading up to the election, for contested races only. Look for the Voters Guide insert in the next three issues.