Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hastings Council Candidate Forum Now on YouTube

Here's the link to the Hastings City Council candidate forum held July 24. Please remember to get out and VOTE on Tuesday, Aug. 12. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hastings City Council candidate forum now airing on Channel 15

A big thank you to the four Hastings City Council candidates who appeared at the Hastings Happenings candidate forum on Thursday, July 24. Thanks also to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church for use of your wonderful facility.

Hastings residents will have four great candidates from which to choose on Tuesday, Aug. 12 (primary) and Tuesday, Nov. 4 (general election).

Candidates include: Joanna Bayers, Lori Braucks, Ian Martin and Mark Vaughan.

Those who couldn't make it to the forum may now watch replays of the event on Hastings Community Television - Channel 15. It will air each day at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.. 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Stay tuned to Hastings Happenings here at www.HastingsHappenings.CO, on Twitter at @HastingsMinn and on Facebook for upcoming coverage of the local Hastings election. Please let us know what you would like us to ask these candidates in the coming months.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Send us your candidate questions for the July 24 forum!

The Hastings City Council candidate forum, sponsored by HastingsHappenings.CO is coming this Thursday, July 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Hastings.

All four remaining candidates will be participating in the forum - answering questions that you submit in advance. Questions will also be taken at the forum itself via audience question cards.

What would you like to ask the candidates? Please send your questions to or include in the comments section of this site.

Thanks - hope to see you at the forum!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hornbuckle withdraws from Hastings City Council race

Political newcomer Blaine Hornbuckle has withdrawn from the Hastings City Council race and is supporting candidate Mark Vaughan. Here is a copy of his release:

July 15, 2014


After much consideration, for personal reasons, I have decided to withdraw from the race for Hastings City Council – At Large.

I wanted to thank the many friends and colleagues who promised their support when I decided to run. Your well wishes are priceless and I am extremely grateful. 

I would urge each of you to shift your support to Mark Vaughan. Mark has shown in the past that he is not afraid to stand up for what is right. His experience as a member and Chair of various City Commissions gives him the insight and credibility to ‘hit the ground running’ when he joins the City Council.

Thank you to KDWA and the Star Gazette for providing a voice for all of the candidates. 

And thank you to Tom Bullington of Hastings Happenings for arranging a forum so we can all get to know our candidates a little better and make an informed decision on Election Day.

Blaine Hornbuckle




Friday, July 11, 2014

Hastings Candidate Forum receiving great coverage locally

I'm thrilled that the Hastings City Council candidate forum being sponsored by Hastings Happenings (aka "me") is getting nice promotional coverage from the local media and City of Hastings. Thank you to both organizations for sharing news about the forum on social media and in print. There was a prominent piece in the StarGazette on Thursday, as well as a featured link on the paper's home page today.

The upcoming candidate forum represents one of the few times (that I know of) in recent Hastings history that all of the council candidates will be assembling in one place before a primary to answer questions posed by a live audience. 

I decided to do the forum for one simple reason - giving Hastings residents a chance to hear the council candidates' perspectives on the issues in an unrehearsed setting. None of them have access to any of the questions that will be asked on that evening. The questions will either be sent to me via email, Facebook post or  on Twitter - or we will get them handed to us on index cards during the forum.

I think it's incredibly important for voters to hear from these candidates unscripted and in their own words. I'm personally looking forward to listening to their responses and getting to know each of them better. 

So I'm hopeful that we will get a good turnout on the evening of July 24 from 7 to 8:30 at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church. The capacity is just over 400 - I wonder if we can pack the house?

Hope to see you there!

Know of anything happening in Hastings? Email us today at:, or post it on our Facebook page! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tom Wright leaves Hastings Council race

Hastings City Council candidate Tom Wright announced today that he's dropping out of the race, effective today - July 10. 

The primary election is August 12. Wright's name will be on the ballot. Absentee voting has been in effect for three weeks. 

More to come...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hastings City Council Candidate Forum on July 24

Hastings City Council Candidate Forum to be held July 24

Candidates for the two open at-large seats on the Hastings City Council will appear at a public forum - sponsored by Hastings Happenings - on Thursday, July 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the worship center at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 400 9th St. W. in Hastings.

Members of the public and news media are invited to attend. There is no charge.

The upcoming Aug. 12 primary election will narrow down the current field of six to four candidates who will compete in the Nov. 4 general election. Winners of that contest will begin their terms on the Hastings City Council in January 2015.

Hastings Happenings started as a website in February 2008 and has evolved into a popular local Facebook site (1,188 members) and Twitter feed (537 followers).

“The goal of Hastings Happenings has always been to promote an exchange of ideas, photos, video and news articles related to the Hastings community,” said Hastings Happenings founder Tom Bullington. “The July 24 candidate forum is yet another way I’m encouraging people to ask questions, and learn more about the people who want to represent us on the Hastings City Council.”

Here are some additional details about the forum:

Bullington will serve as the moderator and ask questions given to him during the event by audience members and submitted in advance by Hastings Happenings readers.

The forum will start off with each candidate giving a two-minute opening statement introducing themselves to the audience.

The event is not a “debate.” Only one candidate will have the floor at a time in two-minute increments and will share one microphone, which will be passed between them. The order will then reverse with the next question.

Candidates will be told to stop after two minutes and pass the microphone to the next candidate.

Each candidate will be seated next to each other in chairs on the church’s altar.

Candidates cannot ask each other questions, nor interrupt other candidates.

Candidates will have an opportunity to make a two-minute closing statement.

There will be no food or beverages served, or allowed in the venue – except for the candidates who will have bottled water.

For more information, please contact Tom Bullington at 651-402-6356 or via email at:

Please visit Hastings Happenings on Facebook and on Twitter at: @HastingsMinn