HAPPENING TODAY: Butler County candidates to debate online



Butler County voters will learn where candidates seeking one of two elected county offices stand on issues that will impact their daily lives, including their pocketbooks.

Miami University, the League of Women Voters of Oxford and the Journal-News have partnered to present two debates on Thursday with candidates for Butler County’s commission and auditor. These pair of debates will be live streamed via Zoom and audience members can pre-register at tinyurl.com/44cdd2yw to attend.

The three organizations are working to provide additional forums to present the candidates for the four statehouse seats ― the 40th, 45th, 46th, and 47th House Districts ― that represent parts of Butler County, and an in-person debate for the 8th Congressional District. Miami University, the LWV and the Journal-News are waiting to either receive confirmation from participants or navigate schedules.

“The voters need opportunities to hear directly from candidates,” said Jennifer Fisher, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Oxford. “A moderated debate can help voters to better understand the issues and topics specific to the office. Our political discussions need civil discourse, now more than ever.”

Fisher is a panelist for the debate with Journal-News Senior Associate Reporter Michael D. Pitman. Miami University political science professor John Forren will moderate the forum.

Forren, chairman of the Miami University Regionals Justice and Community Studies Department, said a key part of Miami University’s mission “is to promote the public good,” and debates such as the one on Thursday will give voters an opportunity to come out and learn more about the people who want to lead us at the county level.

The event has been endorsed from 14 community organizations, including the chambers of commerce in Fairfield, Hamilton, and Middletown, the NAACP organizations in Middletown and Oxford, and the Hamilton YWCA.

The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the candidates for Butler County Commission. Incumbent Cindy Carpenter, a Republican from Hanover Twp., is challenged by Latisha Hazell, a Democrat from West Chester Twp.

Butler County’s commission consists of three elected officials and is the general administrative body for county government. Commissioners serve four-year terms. Terms are staggered where one commission seat is up for election during gubernatorial election years. The other two seats are up for election during presidential election years.

At 7:30 p.m., the candidates for Butler County auditor, which include incumbent Roger Reynolds, a Republican from Liberty Twp., and Mike Dalesandro, a Democrat from Oxford Twp., will debate the issues that involve the county auditor’s office.

The Butler County auditor is the county’s chief fiscal officer and is responsible for several things within the county, including, but not limited to sealing gas pumps, scales and other measuring devices; appraisal and assessment of property; calculating taxes and administering assessments; and distributing money to schools and local governments.

“Elections of local offices, such as with the county commission and auditor, directly impact our daily lives,” said Journal-News Editor Mandy Gambrell. “The public should learn as much as possible about the people who make decisions affecting our pocketbooks, property values and how we navigate around town.”


Miami University, the League of Women Voters of Oxford, and the Journal-News have partnered to present debates for a pair of Butler County races.

The public can watch the debates by pre-registering on Zoom at tinyurl.com/44cdd2yw.

The first debate will begin at 6:30 p.m. and features Butler County Commission candidates incumbent Cindy Carpenter and challenger Latisha Hazell.

The second debate will begin at 7:30 p.m. and features Butler County Auditor candidates incumbent Roger Reynolds and challenger Mike Dalesandro.

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