Speed dating with politicians

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It's not what it sounds like. The N.C. Women's Political Caucus is sponsoring a campaigning event tomorrow for candidates at the YWCA on Park Road from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Local and statewide candidates have been invited. For 15 minutes you can ask them what you want in a small group setting and get at the issues you are interested in.

Organizers have extended a special invitation to Mecklenburg Board of Commissioner District 3 candidates hoping to replace Valerie Woodard, who died earlier this month from a blood disorder. This is the first (and possibly only) candidate forum held before the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Executive Committee meets Monday, Oct. 20 for a special election to fill the seat.

The Charlotte Observer reported that George Dunlap expects to be nominated for the post and that John Crawford, founder of the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund, said he would consider it as well.

About three hours ago, Dwayne Collins, announced in an e-mail that he's seeking the spot. He has an advantage, it appears: he's been endorsed by Woodard's widower, William "Pop" Woodard. Now chairman of the Black Political Caucus, Collins since 2002 had managed Woodard's political campaigns.

Collins says in the statement that he wants to continue Woodard's legacy, including increasing the visibility of the HIV/AIDS Task Force; ensuring that a fair share of county contracts go to minority contractors; and pushing to have a new park in District 3's Briarwood community named in Woodard's honor.

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