Candidate forum, South Bend Common Council at large seats

NOW: Candidate forum, South Bend Common Council at large seats

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Another candidate forum was held Tuesday night focusing on the South Bend Common Council At Large race, featuring five democrats running for three slots on the November ballot. 

Voters say the chance to observe the candidates in a live forum are helpful when it comes to deciding who to vote for. 

“It’s very important to educate and inform voters so that when they go to the polls, they know who they’re voting for,” said Judy Bradford with the League of Women Voters. 

The candidates for the South Bend Common Council At Large seats on the ballot in the May primary election took the stage and answered questions about important issues impacting South Bend. 

Questions about curbing crime, creating more mental health resources, improving affordable housing options, and giving reparations to South Bend’s black residents were all discussed.  

“Reparations can come in a number of forms, and I think what’s most important for us as a city is to talk to those who are qualified to receive those reparations, what do they want them to look like?” candidate Lori Hamaan answered. 

“We also need to look at the $100 million that’s in the reserves and see how we can put monies towards these types of programs and also just continue to have town hall meetings to educate the public,” said candidate Laquita Hughes. 

“I’ve been researching and studying this over these past months, and I support our council president McBride who is establishing a task force for the study of reparations in our community,” candidate Rachel Tomas Morgan said. 

“I do believe that we need to have really community-wide discussions because it’s more than monies,” answered candidate Karen White. “We can look at our housing, we can look at our education system, we can look at housing, and so to me we need to take a holistic look at it.” 

“To keep moving forward with this, and this council with all due respect, to put that in under the current person was ridiculous,” candidate Dr. Oliver Davis Jr. responded. “It was something out there from our current council person and you were pushing it, they needed to have addressed it, put it out there, and make changes and everything else.” 

Three of the five candidates are incumbents; Rachel Tomas Morgan, Karen White, and Lori Hamaan currently sit on the South Bend Common Council. Doctor Oliver Davis Jr. has previously served on the council and Laquita Hughes has previously run for the South Bend School Board.  

All five tackled the hot topics so local voters can get a clearer sense of who they want to support. 

“I definitely feel that I’ve learned more about the candidates that I want to vote for,” said Danielle Redman, a voter who came out to the forum. “I’m definitely getting ready to vote, I know who I’m going to vote for.”  

The primary elections will be held on May 2nd.  

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