Candidates to participate in forum ahead of November election

Compiled by Matt Algarin
The three men running for a seat on the city council are Rodney Braden, Jim Foreman and Andrew Stempki.

Destin residents will have the opportunity to pick the brains of the three men running for a seat on the Destin City Council during a candidate forum Oct. 25 at the Destin Library. Interim Councilman Jim Foreman, and candidates Andrew Stempki and Rodney Braden will be on hand in the Calhoun Room of the library at 150 Sibert Avenue to answer questions from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Braden has worked as a commercial fisherman for four years, and have owned and operated my own home repair business since 1990, as well as served my community for 11 years as a member of the Okaloosa County Sherriff’s Posse. Foreman is retired U.S. Army and has been a resident of Destin for almost 30 years and has served on various city committees and city council for almost 20 years. Stempki has lived in Destin for almost 7 years, was college educated in political science and history, and for the last 6 years, has been a part of Destin’s tourism industry as a boat captain. The special election will be held Nov. 6 to fill the seat that was vacated by former Councilman Larry Hines, who stepped down from his seat to run, unsuccessfully, for Okaloosa County Commissioner. The candidate elected will be sworn in Nov. 19 and will serve the remainder of Hines’ term, which expires March 2014. Questions for candidates can be submitted ahead of time by emailing Destin Log Editor William Hatfield at Questions can also be posted to The Log’s Facebook page or provided to the moderator before the forum, which is not sponsored by the city of Destin. "This race will be down the ballot and might seem insignificant compared to the battle for the White House. But all politics is local, and our city council is much more likely to impact your life on a personal level than even the presidency,” Hatfield said. “And with Destin seemingly on the cusp of an era of redevlopement, this local race is all the more important."