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Knight’s campaign manager says he will not participate in mayoral debate

Chapin, SC (James Bowers) – In a text to Shayla Flores, candidate for the mayor of Chapin this election season, David Knight’s campaign manager said that Knight, also a candidate for the position, would not be participating in the upcoming head to head debate that is scheduled for November 2nd at the Tipsy Toad in Chapin. He has not responded to or made any attempt to correspond with the debate’s organizers regarding whether or not he will participate.

In the text from Knight’s campaign manager to Flores, Stan Shealy said that Knight would not be participating because he had questions regarding the validity and honesty of the questions being posed. The moderator of the debate, Chapin native and Chapin High alumnus Paul Kirby, has said that the questions are being prepared by other municipal government leaders that are currently at the helm of Lexington County towns. He said that none of the candidates would have input and that none of them would be allowed to see the questions prior to the debate.

Kirby recently leased office space in the town from the current Mayor Skip Wilson, and Shealy said that this business agreement could bias Kirby’s ability to be fair. The office will be used several days a week as the Chapin location of The Lexington Ledger all digital news (thelexingtonledger.com).

Kirby said that he has always dreamed of giving all residents of Lexington County a fair and honest Lexington County news source. “In order to better cover all the good things happening in Irmo and Chapin, we really needed to be in and out of that north region regularly. That’s why we felt it was a good move to open the Chapin office.”

Stan Shealy, Knight’s campaign manager, has said in the past he had a vested interest in The Chapin News, a similar on-line news source to Kirby’s. Shealy was the highly respected mayor of Chapin himself for more than 30 years, but told Flores’ campaign staff last summer that he had no interest in returning to politics himself. He has said that he enjoyed his job at the SC Highway Department, one he’s had for decades, and used the Chapin news as a hobby and a creative outlet after his wife passed and his daughter went off to college. Shealy’s wife Vicki was also in the news business. She was highly respected for her ability to be fair and balanced with her writing style. Prior to her death, she wrote for the Lexington Chronicle and Dispatch News for many years.

The questions asked during the debate will pertain to issues such as public safety, quality of life, utilities, and finance. Kirby has also said in public and in print that he would allow each candidate the opportunity to ask one personal question of the other candidates to clear the air about any issues that are still circulating regarding the others that are running.

The debate will be FREE and is open to the public and it will also live stream over The Lexington ledger’s Facebook page. That can be found at facebook.com/swlexledger. The Tipsy Toad is located at 103 Beaufort Street Suite-C in Chapin.

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