On Feb. 10, the Cross Timbers Republican Women Club hosted a candidate forum for the candidates in the State Representative District 59 race with the support of the Erath County Republican Party. Candidates agreed to the format in advance of the event, which included five debate questions developed by a three-person forum committee.
However, without the prior knowledge and approval of the CTRWC the questions and format were changed. Subsequently, each candidate was asked Five different questions, which were not developed by the Forum Committee and had the clear appearance of benefiting one candidate's campaign.
As sponsors of the debate, the CTRWC apologizes to the campaigns of J.D. Sheffield and Cody Johnson for the manner in which the debate was conducted. The change with our debate was unacceptable and inexcusable. If we want voters to make informed decisions, we must hold public events that allow candidates to answer fair and relevant questions without outside influence.
The CTRW also extends an apology to the attendees of the event and the people of Erath County for the events that transpired. Our goal is to hold events that are fair to all candidates and promote informed decision making at the ballot box. We will be putting measures into place to ensure that outside interference does not occur in the future.