Tuesday evening’s membership meeting of the Chesterfield Township Democrats opened with a rousing greeting from lead facilitator Mark Kumming, Co-Chair, as he greeted more than 100 people in attendance at the Candidate Forum for aspirants to the Democratic Nomination for Congressional District 2 to oppose the incumbent Republican and Trump puppet Ann Wagner.
The meeting was co-sponsored by West County Democrats with Glenn Koenen, Co-Chair, in attendance. Glenn is a noted authority on both national, state and local legislative activities and has the honor of contending with Rep. Wagner in 2012.
The heart of this meeting was the Candidate Forum featuring, in alphabetical order, Bill Haas, Robert Hazel, John Messmer, Mark Osmack and Cort VanOstran all facing each other in the August 7th primary. The format was a panel fielding questions composed by audience members and read by meeting facilitator Kumming and CTD Co Chair Mike Kean.
The questions and answers covered the candidate’s positions on everything from medical marijuana, education, and earned benefits to tax reform, campaign finance, healthcare and gun violence. Each candidate opened and closed with a two minute campaign appeal. In all, the Forum lasted an hour and half.
Candidates received vigorous applause and cheers for specific issues or when a notable Republican foible received mention, which were many. At both the outset of the meeting and afterwards candidates networked by supporters. One attendee commented: It was fun to be able to applaud and cheer our candidates.”
Also in the audience were members of the United Auto Workers (UAW.) Attending too were candidates vying for state positions and who were featured at the Candidate Forum held by CTD in May. Included in this group were Genevieve Stiedtmann in the 101st, Chuck Triplett contending in the 98th, Boris Abadzhyan (71st) and Don Klein (70th) who are facing primary challenges. John Kiehne for State Senate 26 was also present.
Kumming closed the meeting with an appeal for membership to join one of several committees forming — The Programs Committee and Community Outreach Committee. Both, Co-Chair Kumming said, were essential to CTD club sustainability. He also invited all to attend CTD’s next membership meeting slated for July 10 at the Daniel Boone Branch of the SLCL and that will feature strategies for voter registration and for getting out the Democratic vote.