Prior to the town hall forum on the GRMC taxing district Thursday night, members of Friends of Graham Hospital stood outside handing out information about the hospital to people trickling into the Graham Memorial Auditorium.

Inside the GMA, ushers and volunteers greeted those attending, some of whom made a quick stop to the room east of the lobby to write down questions for any of the 13 candidates that would soon be summarizing why they should be elected to the new GRMC taxing district board.

Of the 16 candidates on the ballot for the May 10 taxing district election, three were missing, and the rest sat on stage and comprised a candidate pool the likes of which Graham has never seen; at least not in recent memory.

Weeks prior, candidate Dayne Miller realized too late that his status as Young County Attorney prevented him from pursuing a spot on the board and his board candidacy application violated Texas election law. Candidate Johnny Tidwell bowed out (unofficially, as his name remains on the ballot with Miller's) of the race citing personal reasons.

The third candidate not in attendance was Mark House, who could not be at the forum due to a scheduling conflict, but his platform summary along with the other 13 candidates vying for a position on the board appears in pages eight and nine of this edition of the Graham Leader.

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.