As election day looms, candidates are hopeful that voters will hear their message before they walk into voting precincts across the coast. Groups spend a great deal of time planning and organizing events that will give the voters a chance to meet the candidates that appear on their ballots, but there is no guarantee voters will show.
Jean Box is the president of the Harrison County Republican Women and she set up the forum for candidates in all municipalities to use to inform their voters. "There's always a fear that nobody will show up with voter apathy the way it is, but as you can see we have a very good turnout, so hopefully we're going to try to turn that around."
Noone would like to see that turn around more than the candidates themselves; after all, this is their chance to reach the folks who mark the ballots on election day.
Gulfport Mayor Bob Short is a candidate this year and says, "You get the opportunity to meet your voters, you get the opportunity to hear what they want to talk about."
Richard Rose is seeking reelection to the Gulfport City Council and says, "Events like this where you bring the candidates and of course the electorate out to allow the candidates to tell the people what they want to do, or what they have done, or what they will do in the future for them is extremely important for the voters."
Byron Banks is running for a spot on the Gulfport City Council and for him this type event is imperative. "Any exposure you get of course benefits you and so to be able to come out to the people who are the heart of the party and do have that influence in the party you can never go wrong by doing that."
Like organizers of these events, candidates hope that the seats will be filled. Byron Banks says, "People just tend to get in those comfort zones and lay back, but it is a shame everybody should get involved."
Richard Rose says, "We, of course, wish that more people would attend functions like this because there are times that issues out there that effect all of the people in Harrison County."