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Debate planned for sheriff candidates

ELIZABETHTOWN - Candidates for the position of Essex County Sheriff will have a chance to express their views at an upcoming public debate.

Denton Publications, in concert with other local media organizations, is sponsoring a debate at Elizabethtown Central School Oct. 22 from 7-8 p.m.

Candidates will field questions solicited from members of the public. A panel of local news professionals will present the questions and act as moderators.

The three-way race for Sheriff includes the incumbent, Henry Hommes, Westport town councilman Michael "Ike" Tyler, and Robert Kirby, a former Wilmington Town Justice.

Hommes defeated Tyler in a Sept. 15 primary to earn the Republican designation, but Tyler will remain on the ballot as an independent candidate. Kirby is also running as an independent.

Both Kirby and Tyler have committed to participating in the debate. Hommes has declined, citing an already busy campaign schedule.

"I must respectfully decline your invitation to the debate on October 22nd due to my obligations to my duties as sheriff and campaign events already planned," said Hommes. "Additionally, I have already accepted an invitation to a League of Woman Voters-sponsored debate on October 20th in Westport."

The Oct. 20 event is a "Meet The Candidates night" that will be taking place at the Westport Town Hall starting at 6:30 p.m. It will feature candidates for Essex County District Attorney, Sheriff, and Westport town supervisor races. Candidates will answer questions submitted from audience members prior to a question and answer period. For more information on this event, contact Janice Hainer at 962-8350.

Do you have question for the candidates? Submit your questions via e-mail to matt@denpubs.com.

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