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IMG_20140728_190203_378I was invited by the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance to serve as moderator for its Gubernatorial Forum.  This photo was my view from the podium.  Not unlike reffing a football game or umpiring a baseball game, it was my job to emcee the event, ask the questions and make sure the candidates played by the rules, which for the most part, they did.

The participants were:  Ken Bennett, Kristine Jones, Frank Riggs, Scott Smith and Andrew Thomas.  Two others, Doug Ducey and Fred DuVal, were invited but did not attend.

Each of the candidates came off as polite and polished public speakers and to a person, stuck to their talking points, much like a well-trained media spokesperson.  For the two no-shows, it was like the dreaded “no comment.”

There was plenty of smooth talking, humor and attempted humor, conversational story-telling and thought-provoking political statements and opinions.

Public-speaking prowess is not solely how we should form our opinions of candidates, but it’s sure better than their TV commercials and “vote for me” signs.  At least in person you can see their personalities in action, evaluate their charisma or lack-thereof and hear them verbalize and string together their thoughts on key issues – similar to a new business pitch.

I don’t know who will win come the primaries and general election, but I saw first-hand how the candidates reacted and interacted, both on-stage and off.

Bring on Election Day!

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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