WATCH: 14 News hosts live Virtual Town Hall with Evansville Mayoral candidates

14 News hosts live Virtual Town Hall
Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 11:01 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - With election day a week from Tuesday, 14 News held a live virtual town hall to help the community decide on who should be Evansville’s next mayor.

We took your question submissions, and we’ve been working with the League of Women Voters.

The candidates for mayor are Republican Natalie Rascher, Libertarian Michael Daugherty and Democrat Stephanie Terry.

League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana co-president Tracy McEuen said though people may have already cast their ballot, they hope to help folks make a decision.

”I think by having our local voters put the issues they’re seeing or feeling in their own words, it just helps drive home the point of what kind of issues people face locally, and what our local candidates can potentially do about that.”

One viewer asked the candidates how they plan to reach across the aisle to help the city progress.

“What are you going to be doing to kind of tow that party line and get across the aisle and make something actionable happen?” asked Tyler Irick.

Rascher answered first saying, “It’s important that we value each other as neighbors and make sure that we’re listening before we’re responding to questions and concerns. We need to make sure that all of us are coming together at the end of the day.”

Daugherty stressed his status as a libertarian saying, “As a third party, I believe I have an advantage to bring people together. It’s seemed to be argumentative at a national level as well as local, you have republicans vs democrats. I bring that competitive advantage to work with both sides.”

Terry said, “I’m going to forge and develop relationships to ensure not only locally but at a state level that I’m able to really make some meaningful connections that will help support our work and advance our agenda here in Southern Indiana.”

High schooler Dylan Baker wanted to know about their stance on gun violence.

“There is a significant amount of gun violence in the Evansville community,” he said. “If elected mayor, what action would you take to curb this?”

All candidates stated that law enforcement needs support, but took different approaches to initiatives beyond funding.

“I’ve been open from the beginning,” said Daugherty. “I will change the chief of police. One of the things they’re doing in Denver Colorado is something called F.A.S.T. where they’re responding to all gun violence as if it was a homicide.”

“We need to make sure that we’re also working with community members,” said Rascher. “There’s something we’ve been doing here recently, where we’re really wrapping our hands around different parts of our community to make sure that we understand where this violence is coming from and how we can curb it in the future.”

“We have to be sure that guns are not getting into the wrong hands,” said Terry. “[We need to be] putting tighter restrictions, working with our state legislators around gun laws to insure that we can get guns off the street.”

The full town hall is available below. It’s separated into two videos.

14 News Virtual Town Hall Part 1
2nd half of our Virtual Town Hall with Evansville Mayoral candidates