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Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce hosts city candidate forum

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:50 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce kicked off its annual series of candidate forums Tuesday, August 17, at Journey Christian Church.

Candidates in the races for Fairbanks City Council and the mayor of North Pole answered questions from chamber members and the community.

Five candidates representing three races in the upcoming election gathered at the forum.

According to Jinnel Choiniere, President/CEO of the Fairbanks Chamber, “A big part of our mission is advocacy, so making sure that we are promoting the issues that are important to the business community here in Fairbanks, and making this a great place to live and work.”

Candidates discussed issues including public safety, mask requirements, lockdowns and the fate of the Polaris building in downtown Fairbanks. Choiniere explained, “We try to make sure that we focus the questions on what’s most important to the business community, what are the issues that our members would really like to know about, so that we can help them become more informed voters and know what the candidates have to say about those issues.”

In addition to a rapid fire round of questions, Choiniere said the candidates also heard queries submitted by audience members. “It’s our first political forum of the season, so I think that it went really well and we’re hoping to just keep improving on that as we go through.”

Each candidate was also given the opportunity to make an opening and closing statement summing up their message.

Thomas McGhee, who is running against Mike Welch for mayor of North Pole was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

The Fairbanks Chamber will be holding two additional forums: on August 31st for Borough Assembly candidates, and on September 15th for candidates running for borough mayor.

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