Middletown City Council candidate forum set for today

5 people seeking 2 open council seats to take part in event, hosted by local chapter of NAACP.

Candidates for Middletown City Council will address questions this week in one of the area’s first political forums for November’s general election.

Five people are seeking one of two open seats for Middletown City Council, and only one incumbent is seeking reelection. The Middletown chapter of the NAACP is hosting the forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Robert “Sonny” Hill Jr. Community Center, 800 Lafayette Ave.

Celeste Davis, president of the Middletown NAACP, said this is an important race for the city as “there are five candidates running ... for only two seats.”

Middletown City Council candidates will be asked questions by the public at a candidates forum Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at the Robert "Sonny" Hill Jr. Community Center. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Middletown City Council candidates will be asked questions by the public at a candidates forum Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at the Robert "Sonny" Hill Jr. Community Center. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Safety protocols will be in place for this in-person event, saying events are “different in this environment,” Davis said. Masks will be required to attend the forum, and temperatures will be taken at the door. She said they will not ask for vaccine cards, but capacity is limited to around 100 people to accommodate social distancing.

Middletown Councilmember Joe Mulligan is seeking reelection to a third term (second consecutive). Councilmember Ami Vitori, a fourth-generation Middletownian, decided not to seek reelection to a second term.

The other candidates seeking election to Middletown City Council include Jennifer Carter, Zachary Ferrell, Julia Lewis-Smith and former Middletown police chief Rodney Muterspaw.

Davis said as of now, Thursday’s forum is the only one being hosted by the Middletown NAACP but added that can change and is “more than happy” to partner with any community organization or group to present additional opportunities to learn about local candidates.

“We’re not opposed to doing additional candidate forums,” she said. “This is probably, right now, the only one that will probably be face-to-face.”

Davis said the two unopposed candidates to Middletown City School Board, and any other area candidate for local office, can attend the online Oct. 16 Middletown NAACP meeting as some of its members reside in the communities neighboring the city.

Those who plan to submit questions to present to candidates by moderator Gannett’s Kevin Aldridge should arrive around 5:30 p.m. at the community center.

After Thursday, Middletown City Council candidates will be at the Oct. 7 forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton at Middletown council chambers. Lenny Robinson will moderate at the October forum.


HOW TO GO

What: Middletown City Council candidates forum

Where: Robert “Sonny” Hill Jr. Community Center, 800 Lafayette Ave.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday (arrive at 5:30 p.m. if you plan to submitted questions for candidates)

More: Masks will be required and temperatures will be taken. The forum hosted by the Middletown chapter of the NAACP.

ELECTION TIMELINE

Oct. 4: Last day to register to vote for Nov. 2 election (which can be done online)

Oct. 5: Early in-person voting and vote-by-mail begins

Oct. 30: Last day to request applicants for absentee ballots to be mailed for Nov. general election. All applications for absentee ballots must be received by noon.

Nov. 1: Last day to vote early at the Butler County Board of Elections (2 p.m. in-office early voting closes)

Nov 2: Election day, Polls open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Source: Butler County Board of Elections, Ohio Secretary of State

CANDIDATES FOR MIDDLETOWN COUNCIL

There are five people seeking election for one of two open seats on Middletown City Council this November. They include:

  • Jennifer Carter
  • Zachary Ferrell
  • Julia Lewis-Smith
  • Joe Mulligan*
  • Rodney Muterspaw

* denotes incumbent