Dave Paul fears that, amid the storm and fury of the presidential election this year, people may be turned off by politics.

Dave Paul fears that, amid the storm and fury of the presidential election this year, people may be turned off by politics.

That's a shame, the Northland resident said last week, because it means voters may turn away from paying attention to local elections.

"If there are other people like me, they've been trying to tune out all the political talk," Paul said. "It's unfortunate because in addition to the national races that we're getting bombarded with information about, we have these very important local races.

"These folks are kind of getting lost, I think, in the noise."

The Franklin County Consortium for Good Government, with which Paul has long been involved, is trying to correct that with four Meet the Candidates forums.

The first, which the Northland Community Council is co-sponsoring, will take place Tuesday, Sept. 27, starting with a reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd.

"We have some very interesting candidates," NCC Vice President Alicia Ward said at the council's Sept. 5 session.

Invited to participate Sept. 27 are the candidates for Franklin County prosecutor, incumbent Republican Ron O'Brien, Democratic City Council President Zack Klein and Bob Fitrakis of the Green Party. Invitations were also extended to Ohio House District 22 candidates David Leland, the incumbent Democrat, and his Republican opponent, Linda Jarrett; Ohio House District 25 candidates Napoleon A. Bell, an independent, Democrat Bernadine Kennedy Kent and Republican Seth B. Golding; Franklin County treasurer candidates Republican Ted Berry and Democrat Cheryl Brooks Sullivan; and candidates for the nonpartisan Franklin County Common Pleas Court bench.

"These events are a great opportunity to meet these people and kind of hear how they think and what they intend to do about local issues," Paul said. "It's kind of an alternative to all of the other political haranguing that's going on. We hope for it to be, wish for it to be, a kind of town hall thing instead of a bar fight."

According to the Consortium for Good Government's website, those attending a Meet the Candidates forum will be able to ask questions of candidates. All programs begin at 7 p.m., preceded by receptions at 6:30 p.m.

The other three events are:

* Wednesday, Oct. 5, All Saints Academy, 2855 E. Livingston Ave., for the following races and issues: Franklin County prosecutor; Ohio House District 26; Ohio House District 18; Franklin County recorder; Franklin County Clerk of Courts; Franklin County Court of Common Pleas; and Central Ohio Transit Authority and Columbus school levies.

* Tuesday, Oct. 18, Peggy McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington, for the following races and issues: Ohio Supreme Court; Franklin County Court of Common Pleas; Ohio Senate District 16; Ohio House District 21; COTA levy.

* Wednesday, Oct. 19, First Congregational Church, 444 E. Broad St., for the following races and issues: Franklin County Commissioner; Ohio House District 18; Ohio House District 25; Franklin County Court of Common Pleas; U.S. House District 3; Columbus school and COTA levies.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1