Kenyon College to Host Local Candidates Debate

A forum at the College involving GOP candidates for sheriff and county commissioner is being sponsored by the Knox County Young Republicans.


Kenyon College is hosting a debate on Tuesday, Feb. 27 featuring Knox County candidates vying for political office in the upcoming primary election.

The free event, sponsored by the Knox County Young Republicans and hosted by Kenyon’s nonpartisan Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD), is open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. in Oden Auditorium, 107 College Drive. Parking is available on site behind Chalmers Library in the West Quad Parking Garage.

Republican candidates on the March 19 ballot for sheriff and county commissioner will be invited to participate in the debate. There are no contested races for those offices on the Democratic side. The forum will be moderated by Joseph L. Klesner, CSAD director and a professor of political science and international studies. 

“One of CSAD’s goals has been to promote informed political participation by the Kenyon community and the broader Knox County community,” Klesner said. “That includes disseminating information related to local elections, and this event contributes to that goal.”

Kenyon students working through CSAD have created voter guides with information about candidates in the primary election as well. That information is publicly available online.

This year, Democrats have fielded primary challenges for the state supreme court race and president. The Republican ballot includes multiple candidates for county commissioner, sheriff, state representative, the 5th District Court of Appeals, president and U.S. Senate.

In some cases — including the race for sheriff and one of two county commissioner seats — there is no candidate from the Democratic Party, so whoever wins the Republican primary will be the next person to hold that office. 

Griffin Rothgeb, chairman of the Knox County Young Republicans, said the group is excited to be involved with the event that aims to help local residents.

“The Knox County Young Republicans know the importance of casting an informed vote for the leaders of the community,” he said. 

Early voting begins by mail and in-person on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Election Day is Tuesday, March 19. 

Established in 2007, Kenyon’s Center for the Study of American Democracy organizes conferences, lectures and seminars with the goal of stimulating nonpartisan civic and political discourse. It also provides teaching and research opportunities for faculty and students and promotes student internships in Washington, D.C.

The Knox County Chapter of Young Republicans strives to promote conservative values by promoting community service, local growth, professionalism, hard work and family values by recruiting, training, educating and electing the future activists of the Republican Party.

For more information about the debate, contact the Center for the Study of American Democracy at or 740-427-5855. 

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