With the primary about a month away, numerous organizations have stepped up to host forums to educate voters about candidates running in York County elections.

The Democratic Party of York County and the York County Young Democrats will host a forum on Wednesday, April 22, for its candidates for York City Council and York County commissioner.

"They'll be asked questions, some of which will be prepared and some of which will be from voters," said Bob Kefauver, the party chairman.

The event, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, 925 S. George St., kicks off at 5 p.m. with a presentation on how to cast votes using the electronic voting machine by Nikki Suchanic, director of the county's election office.

That will be followed by a forum for Democratic city council candidates at 6 p.m. and one for Democratic county commissioner candidates at 7 p.m.

Candidates: York City Council candidates are incumbents Michael Helfrich and Carol Hill-Evans and challengers Amy Chamberlin, Carla Christopher and Sandie Walker. All are Democrats. There are three seats, each carrying a four-year term, available.

Democratic incumbent Commissioner Doug Hoke is facing challengers Henry Nixon, a city councilman, and Duane Hull, a former Dover Township supervisor. On the Republican side, incumbent Commissioner Chris Reilly is facing challengers Susan Byrnes, a health activist, and Kelly Henshaw, a Red Lion borough councilman. Each party will field two candidates on the November ballot.

Steve Chronister, the president commissioner, has said he'll run as an Independent in the November election after he withdrew from the GOP ballot when his nomination petition was challenged.

All three seats, which carry a four-year term, are up for election this year.

Judge race: The York County Bar Association will host a forum featuring all seven candidates for the county Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, April 28.

The forum will be moderated by G. Terry Madonna, director of the center for politics and public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. It will be held at Arthur J. Glatfelter Community Room, Cytec Building, HACC York Campus, 2161 Pennsylvania Ave., at 7 p.m., according to a news release from the bar association.

Candidates Carl Anderson, Karen Comery, Mike Flannelly, Chris Menges, Kathleen Prendergast, Thomas Reilly and Neil Slenker are vying for two open seats on the bench. All cross-filed as Democrats and Republicans, meaning their names will appear on both ballots in the primary. A term for judge is 10 years.

The primary is Tuesday, May 19.

More forums: Here's a look at additional upcoming forums:

•Monday: The Uptown York Rotary Club, York City Alliance of Neighborhood Associations and Downtown Inc will host a forum for commissioner and city council candidates at the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St.

The forum for commissioner candidates runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and the forum for council candidates is from 7 to 8:30 p.m., according to a news release from Downtown Inc. All candidates in both races will attend.

•Thursday, April 23: The Northern York Republican Club will host a forum for candidates in various races at the Dillsburg Senior Center, 1 N. Second St., at 7 p.m.

•Monday, April 27: The York NAACP will team up with numerous African-American fraternities and sororities to host a forum focused on city council and school board races at Unity Church of God in Christ, 121 Ridge Ave., from 6 to 9 p.m. Candidates for county commissioner and some district judge races are also slated to attend. They will be asked a series of prepared questions.

•Thursday, May 7: The York 912 Patriots will host a forum featuring some candidates for York County commissioner, county sheriff, district judge and countywide offices in uncontested races at the Wyndham Garden York, 2000 Loucks Road in West Manchester Township, at 7 p.m. Commissioner candidates Reilly, Henshaw, Byrnes and Hull, as well as incumbent Sheriff Richard Keuerleber, are expected to take part. Ben Grove, who is running against Keuerleber, is not attending.

— Reach Greg Gross at

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