Candidate Debate for the 15th State Senate District on August 12


State Senate Candidates Square Off on August 12

All four candidates running for the open seat in the 15th State Senate District have agreed to participate in a forum co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Santa Cruz Weekly newspaper. The candidates are:

Sam Blakeslee, Republican from San Luis Obispo

Jim Fitzgerald, Independent from Nipomo

Mark Hinkle, Libertarian from Morgan Hill

John Laird, Democrat from Aptos

The forum will be held on August 12, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the new Music Recital Hall at the Cabrillo College Visual and Performing Arts Center, 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos. The event will be carried by KION-TV and its CBS affiliate KCOY-TV and broadcast throughout the Central Coast. The forum will also be carried by KUSP Public Radio. Because the forum is being broadcast live, the event will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. The public is invited.

The League moderator will include selected questions submitted from Leagues throughout the 15th State Senate District, members of the press and members of the public prior to the forum. Members of the press may reserve tickets and/or submit questions for the candidates by emailing thukill [at]">thukill [at] by Friday, Aug. 6. The public is invited to submit questions for the candidates at forum [at]">forum [at]

Jan Karwin, President of the League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County, said, “The League is pleased to partner with the Santa Cruz Weekly, Cabrillo College, KION-TV and KUSP Public Radio in providing opportunity for the voters to see the candidates in action and to hear their views on the critical issues facing California as well as the 15th State Senate District.”

Traci Hukill, Editor of Santa Cruz Weekly, said, “Off-cycle elections such as this one often suffer from poor voter participation. We think this forum offers a critical public service by keeping an important election front-and-center in voters’ minds in the run-up to the Aug. 17 polling date.”

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. They may be picked up at the following locations throughout Santa Cruz County starting Wednesday, Aug. 4:

 Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 831.423.0900, Sun-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm.

 Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola, 831.462.4415, Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm.

 Scotts Valley Recreation Center, 361 Kings Village Rd., Scotts Valley, 831.438.3251, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.

 Watsonville Public Library Main Branch, 275 Main St., Watsonville, 831.768.3400, Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-6pm.


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