Candidate Forum Debrief Part 1: Mayoral Candidates

Candidate Forum Debrief Part 1: Mayoral Candidates

Last night, the League of Women Voters hosted a forum for the mayoral and Council candidates in Brooklyn Center. This was a great opportunity both for me as a voter to find out where the other candidates stand on important issues and as a candidate to meet residents as well as the candidates running against me.

Unfortunately, I heard after the event that some had trouble getting connected virtually and those who were able to get connected experienced issues with the audio. Brooklyn Center does employ some IT professionals but I don’t think any of them were on hand for the event. I would strongly urge City Administration to arrange for this in the future so as many people as possible can participate in public events. Fortunately, it appears the video and audio were captured by CCX Media so you can watch the Mayoral Candidate Forum online if you were unable to watch it last night or attend in person.

Four candidates (April Graves, Laurie Ann Moore, Leng Xiong, and Mike Elliott) participated in the mayoral portion of the forum. As far as public-speaking goes, all the candidates seemed to project confidence. However, when it came to eloquence, phrasing, speaking with appropriate tone and dynamic, I think April Graves far surpassed the other candidates.

I didn’t take detailed notes on the whole mayoral portion but listened closely and with an open mind to all the candidates. I did take note of some of the candidates answers regarding issues that were important to me. The answers very much aligned with my previous research on the candidates and helped me confirm my top choice for the next Mayor of Brooklyn Center: April Graves.

If I were to rank the candidates in order of my likelihood to vote for them, here’s how things would land:

  1. April Graves
  2. Laurie Ann Moore
  3. Mike Elliott
  4. Leng Xiong

Although I’ve made it clear that I will not be supporting incumbent Mayor Mike Elliott, he surprisingly did not rank completely last. Leng Xiong, although highly entertaining and clearly of high emotional intelligence, did not seem to be in touch with the questions or the issues on the minds of Brooklyn Center residents. Additionally, he seems to think bringing a racetrack to Brooklyn Center is the solution to all of the city’s problems although I recall him stating at one point that he was saddened to hear about all the problems because he didn’t think there was anything wrong in the city. However, I believe in giving credit where credit is due: Leng definitely did have some of the most quotable sayings of the evening.

The pool of candidates seemed pretty evenly split on some of the major issues which included public safety, a petition to change the form of government in Brooklyn Center, and whether or not the Mayor should have the authority to fire any city employee. CCX Media offers a great summary of the candidate’s responses.

Again, this event helped confirm my decision to vote for April Graves for Brooklyn Center Mayor but I want to hear from YOU! Did you find the Candidate Forum to be helpful in your decision-making? Who do you believe is the strongest candidate and why? What was your favorite moment? What questions do you have for the candidates that remain unanswered? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.