Residents will have the opportunity to hear from the five Republican candidates for Hilliard City Council at a candidates forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at the Joint Safety Services Building, 5181 Northwest Parkway.

Hilliard is one of a few municipalities in Franklin County to have partisan council seats, and four are up for election in November.

The Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event that is expected to include the four incumbent council members seeking re-election -- Tom Baker, Les Carrier, Kelly McGivern and Bill Uttley -- and Andy Teater, president of the Hilliard school board.

Each candidate will give opening and closing statements and answer public questions in a timed format.

The top four vote-getters in the May 2 Republican primary will advance to the Nov. 7 general election and face two Democratic challengers in Chad Queen and Sarah Schregardus.

Because the Democratic primary is not contested, Queen and Schregardus were not invited to participate in the primary forum. However, they and the four Republicans who advance in the May 2 primary will be invited to a forum this fall, said Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce.

Independent candidates have until May 1 to file a petition with the Franklin County Board of Elections and any who are are certified would increase the field of candidates in the general election.

The Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce has hosted candidates forums for more than 20 years, Gierach said.

"One of the main focuses of the chamber is business advocacy with government officials on behalf of the business community," she said.

"The chamber hosts these events so that the public may make an informed voting decision after hearing opinions of those who want to lead our community on important issues."