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Hildebrand, rival left off forums due to oversight

Let's just call it a humbling reminder that Keith Waldron needs to work on his name recognition.

True, the Democratic challenger for County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand's seat has been trying to get his name out _ on billboards along the major highways, in campaign mailings and through door-to-door visits.

But the organizers of a series of candidate forums hadn't heard of him. In fact, they didn't realize Hildebrand still had an opponent after defeating two others in the GOP primary, so they didn't include Hildebrand and Waldron in the upcoming debates.

"I guess we overlooked that one," admitted Joe Alpine, president of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, the group organizing the forums. "We just missed Mr. Waldron, because everyone was thinking that was all decided in the (primary) race."

Even local GOP leader Bill Bunting, who helped organize the forums as a member of the chamber's government affairs committee, drew a blank on Hildebrand's opponent.

"Is that a write-in candidate?" Bunting asked Thursday when a reporter told him Hildebrand still faced Waldron in the Nov. 2 election.

He wasn't completely off-base: Write-in candidate Jon Kueny is also in the running.

Both Alpine and Bunting apologized for the oversight and said they would try to add the District 3 commission candidates to one of the forums.

Waldron, a 46-year-old real estate associate, took the goof in stride: "There's a lot of confusion out there, for some reason," he said with a chuckle.

CANDIDATE FORUMS

Sponsored by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.

OCT. 12 AT REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER BAYONET POINT:

4 p.m. Superintendent of Schools: Alice Delgardo, Heather Fiorentino and James Griffin

5 p.m. School Board District 2: Ryan O'Reilly and Marge Whaley

OCT. 14 AT PASCO-HERNANDO COMMUNITY COLLEGE WEST CAMPUS:

6 p.m. Supervisor of Elections: Patrick Bergy and Kurt Browning

7 p.m. State Representative District 46: John Legg and Dee Thomas

8:15 p.m. Sheriff: Darlene Greene and Bob White

OCT. 25 AT HERITAGE SPRINGS:

7 p.m. State Representative District 45: Tom Anderson and Kevin Jensen

8 p.m. Clerk of Circuit Court: Bob Altman and Jed Pittman

OCT. 28 AT REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER BAYONET POINT:

4 p.m. County Commission District 5: Peter Altman and Jack Mariano

5 p.m. State Senate District 11: Mike Fasano and Steve Mattingly

Up next:CORRECTION

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