The Aug. 7 event, sponsored by the Bay Area Council and Contra Costa Council, will be held from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Concord. Fee is $35 for council members; $45 for non-members. Reservations can be made at www.contracostacouncil.com.
The Aug. 11 event, held at St. Mary's College, will have the five Democratic candidates meet at 7 p.m., and the six Republicans at 8:15 p.m. The other three candidates, representing the Green, Peace and Freedom and American Independent parties, will not be participating in the event as they are all running unopposed and will not be challenged in the Sept. 1 primary election. The discussion is being sponsored by St. Mary's College, the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and the Contra Costa Times.
The special election was declared after Tauscher was confirmed to take on a new post serving under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Voters will be faced with an interesting ballot in September as, although it is a primary, all candidates will appear on the same ballot, regardless of party. The top vote-getter in each party will move on to the Nov. 3 general election. However, if one candidate receives a better than 50 percent majority of the vote, a winner will be declared and no general election held.
The Contra Costa County Clerk's office has reported that the last day to register to vote in order to receive one of the sample ballots is Aug. 3. Also beginning Aug. 3, vote by mail ballots will be available.