Students to host political forum

AMHERST – Candidates or their representatives from the level of president down to state representative will be on stage Wednesday night at Souhegan High School for one of the region’s largest candidate forums.

“What’s amazing is that this is all done by the students,” said School Board Chairman Jeanne Ludt.

The forum is hosted by the Community Council, a group of students and adults who help oversee various school policies. The forum will be similar to one held two years ago by the group, with strict time limits for comments – as little as three minutes – and questions chosen at random, depending on the race.

Such discipline is necessary because of the size of the candidate pool.

As of Monday afternoon, confirmed hopefuls included more than a dozen state representative candidates from Districts 4 and 6 – which cover Amherst and Mont Vernon, the towns that send students to Souhegan – as well as several nearby towns.

Also slated to appear were both state Senate candidates, one Executive Council hopeful, and the top of the state ticket on the Democratic side. The incumbent Republicans at the top of the ticket were sending representatives as of Monday.

Richard Kahn, a Libertarian candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat, is also slated to appear.

Bill Shaheen, husband of former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and a state campaign official for Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry, is scheduled to appear as well.

The forum is free and open to everybody, not just those associated with Souhegan High School. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the theater of the high school, 412 Boston Post Road.