Candidates forum set for Friday at high school

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Candidates for three state legislative seats will deliver introductory remarks and then take questions during a two-hour forum Friday at Vancouver Christian High School, 8205 N.E. Fourth Plain Boulevard.

All candidates vying for the 17th, 18th and 49th district seats have been invited to participate in the Christian Chamber of Commerce of the Northwest’s, “A Get to Know the Candidates,” forum that begins at 7 a.m. The event is open to the public at a cost of $5, which covers the cost of coffee and tea served at the event.

As of Friday, Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, Jon Russell, Dennis Kampe, Bill Cismar, Richard Carson, Ann Rivers, Brian Peck and Paul Harris had all agreed to participate, according to a news release announcing the forum.

Under the planned format, each candidate will provide opening remarks and later answer prepared questions in rotation. The forum is expected to go until 9 a.m., at which point audience members will have the chance to speak with individual candidates.

The 17th and 18th districts seats opened when Reps. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas, and Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, jumped into the race for the 3rd Congressional District seat late last year. U.S. Rep. Brian Baird announced in December that he would not seek re-election.

Wallace later dropped out of the congressional contest and also said she would not seek re-election.

Moeller is campaigning to retain his 49th District seat.