Debate tonight for sheriff candidates

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sheriff Dennis Darby

Otis Griffin

Mark Whitten

Debate tonight for sheriff candidates

By John Howell
The Panola County Sheriff’s Debate tonight at 7 p.m. will offer the three candidates for sheriff an opportunity to answer six questions prepared by students from North Panola and South Panola High Schools, Sardis Chamber of Commerce President Dale Hart said.

The Sardis Chamber and The Panolian are co-sponsoring the forum in the Panola County Courthouse in Sardis.

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Two questions were chosen from those submitted by each school, one question was the same submitted by both NP and SP students and one from students at both schools along with a question committee chaired by Circuit Judge Jimmy McClure.

“We’re pleased with the questions that they asked,” Hart said. The Sardis chamber spokesman said that similarities in questions from both schools and from the committee indicated that most people are thinking about the same issues.

Dennis Darby, Otis Griffin and Mark Whitten will answer questions ranging from topics that include improving Panola County’s future, addressing drug and gang issues, law enforcement restraint in use of deadly force to improving school safety. Candidates have been provided the questions in advance.

Each candidate will have two minutes to make an opening statement and then two minutes, in turn, to answer each of the questions. Following their answers to questions, candidates will be given an additional 30 seconds for rebuttal.

Candidates will be each allowed a two-minute closing statement.

Moderator for the debate will be Dan Lehman, a DeSoto County resident who has frequently appeared in area theater productions including the Panola Playhouse.