Candidates for local, state and federal office introduced themselves and answered questions tonight at a forum at the city of Lakeland’s Coleman-Bush Building. Here is full video from the event, followed by some info on when the various groups of candidates took the stage and who showed up.

Candidate groups and the time at which they appear on the video:

  • Florida House – 3:53
  • Polk School Board – 26:16
  • Florida Attorney General, Florida Senate – 1:06:15
  • Florida Ag/Consumer Commissioner and U.S, Congress – 1:38:40
  • Polk County Commission, Circuit Judge – 1:56:20

The forum was sponsored by the NAACP, League of Women Voters of Polk County, Polk County Voters League,  Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County and the Polk County African American Chamber of Commerce.

The organizers said they invited all candidates on the races that appear on Polk County ballots. Almost all the local Democratic candidates showed up. For the most part, Republicans running in partisan races stayed away. The exceptions were Martha Santiago, a candidate for Polk County Commission who is facing Democrat Karen Welzel Cooper,  and the two Republicans running without Democratic opposition for the District 56 seat in the Florida House: Melony Bell and Jeff Mann.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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