Mayoral candidates to face off in debate set at county library

GREENFIELD — The contenders for Greenfield mayor will square off in a debate next week.

Incumbent Mayor Chuck Fewell and challenger Judy Swift, who is the assistant vice president and business development officer for Greenfield Banking Co., will meet for the debate at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hancock County Public Library.

It will be moderated by local Rotarian Wayne Addison.

It’s the first debate Addison has moderated, but he’s no stranger to crowds; Addison has been an auctioneer for years and has emceed similar events.

The debate is important because it will give candidates the opportunity to discuss issues important to them and residents, Addison said.

Addison said he is among those who look forward to learning what distinguishes the candidates from each other.

“Honestly, in this particular race, there’s two candidates, two very good people; truthfully, I don’t know the difference between what they’re thinking,” Addison said.

Each candidate will have the chance to give a two-minute opening and closing statement, and Addison will pose questions for about an hour, rotating which candidate has the first opportunity to respond.

Audience questions will be taken as time allows at the moderator’s discretion.

The debate will be conducted in the community room at the Greenfield branch. Library director Dave Gray said there will be seats for at least 100 audience members.

The library has hosted several debates during the past few years. Gray said it’s a good site for debates because it’s a neutral location.

“I think the debates are great for the community,” he said. “We’re pleased to continue to host those.”

Fewell said he’s looking forward to the chance to discuss why he wants to be mayor with Greenfield residents.

Early voting begins Tuesday. The winner will represent the Republican Party in November’s general election.

The debate will give those residents a chance to be informed about which candidate is best for them and the city of Greenfield, Fewell said.

“I think it gives the candidates a chance to express their views to the citizens and vice versa,” he said, adding he hopes citizens see he has the leadership skills and knowledge to lead the city well.

Swift said she’s excited for the chance to square off against the incumbent. She’s never participated in a debate before, and she’s looking forward to giving the public an opportunity to see both candidates answer the same questions.

“It gives me an opportunity to say out loud what I’ve only had in print,” Swift said. “I hope to show them my enthusiasm … for the city and the citizens as well as the employees of the city.”

Addison said he hopes many residents attend the event, as it will give them a chance to see whom they want to support as they prepare to vote.

He expressed confidence in both of the voters’ choices.

“I know both of these candidates. They’re both good people,” he said.

If you go

A debate between the candidates for the Republican primary election for Greenfield mayor is scheduled for Tuesday.

Who: Local Rotarian Wayne Addison will moderate the debate between incumbent Chuck Fewell and Judy Swift. 

Time: 7 p.m. 

Place: Hancock County Public Library – Greenfield branch, 900 W. McKenzie Road.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or