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Chamber to host Culpeper Clerk of the Court candidates forum
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Chamber to host Culpeper Clerk of the Court candidates forum

Culpeper County Courthouse in snow December 2020

The historic Culpeper Courthouse, seen after last December’s first snowfall, is the county’s seat of justice.

The Culpeper Chamber of Commerce will host a public forum with the two candidates in next month’s special election for the post of Culpeper County clerk of court, the business group announced Tuesday.

The chamber said the forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11, will be a free, voter-education community event giving residents an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates, clerk Carson Beard and challenger Marshall Keene.

Chamber President and CEO Jeff Say will act as the evening’s moderator and timekeeper.

Both Keene and Beard will be allowed three minutes for introductions and opening statements, and then respond to prepared questions that each will be given an equal opportunity to answer, the chamber said in a statement.

After those questions, the candidates will have three minutes to make their closing statements.

“It is very important that despite the pandemic, we work to educate our county and encourage voting in this special election for Clerk of the Court,” the chamber said.

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The forum will be streamed on YouTube Live, Facebook Live and cable television’s Culpeper Media Network, it said.

Culpeper native Carson Beard hopes to succeed recently retired clerk Janice Corbin, for whom he started working in November 2014. Beard replaced Corbin at the beginning of January after being promoted from deputy clerk to clerk of the court.

Marshall Keene, a Sheriff’s Office deputy and chairman of the Culpeper County Republican Committee, announced he would seek the clerk’s job the day after being elected chair of the Culpeper County School Board.

The post is one of Culpeper County’s constitutional offices.

Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, early and absentee voting for the post started Friday, Feb. 12.

To vote absentee by mail, apply online at

For in-person early voting, the Culpeper County Registrar’s Office at 151 N. Main St. is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

All registered county voters are eligible to vote in the special election, which was ordered by the court—at the Board of Supervisors’ request—to fill the vacancy created by Janice Corbin’s retirement, for the duration of her term ending Dec. 31, 2023.

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Clint Schemmer, a journalist since 1980, has worked at papers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. He’s been a bureau chief, editorial-page editor, copy desk chief and local news editor. Now a staff writer at the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

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