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VIA-Chamber forum to sponsor McKeon, Rogers

Single event said to be only joint appearance of race

Posted: September 12, 2012 1:55 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2012 7:01 p.m.

Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who is being challenged by Democratic Lee Rogers for his 25th district seat in November, has arranged to participate in a candidates forum in the Santa Clarita Valley next month, a participant said Wednesday.

“Kathy Norris (CEO and president of the Valley Industry Association) and myself received phone calls from the congressman’s office saying he would like to do a forum in the Santa Clarita Valley and wanted to know if we would like to partner together to bring this forum to the valley,” said Terri Crain, CEO of the SCV Chamber of Commerce.

“This is the only forum that the congressman has agreed to do, and Kathy and I are both honored that he would trust us to do this,” Crain said.

McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley confirmed the congressman had no other forum with Rogers scheduled.

McKeon had also been invited to select a date to attend a forum sponsored by SCVTV, The Signal and KHTS AM 1220.

Rogers said he wants an opportunity to debate the incumbent in other parts of the district, but he said McKeon’s office has refused.

“We also feel there needs to be a forum that doesn’t cost attendees anything and is open to the public,” Rogers said.

“We have over and over again called for three debates, and he’s agreed for just one,” Rogers said, “but it’s yet to be seen if he’ll participate in forums in other parts of the districts.”

The forum is scheduled by VIA and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 10. Crain said the event costs $45 and includes lunch.

The Chamber CEO also said moderators hadn’t been chosen yet.

“We haven’t finalized anything. It would be irresponsible of me to throw names around,” she said Wednesday.

“We are looking at different people from across the district, to bring in someone from Ventura County and from Antelope Valley and, of course, from our own neck of the woods,” she said.

However, McCurley said moderators had been chosen.

They will be Timm Herdt, state editor for the Ventura County Star, Dennis Anderson, editor of the Antelope Valley Press, and Gary Horton, a contributing columnist for The Signal, McCurley said in an email Wednesday.

The event Oct. 10 will be at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.




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