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Gubernatorial candidates Beth Harwell, Bill Lee, Karl Dean, Randy Boyd and Craig Fitzhugh face the audience at the candidate forum at Lipscomb's Allen Arena Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Leadership Tennessee is the presenting sponsor of the forum.

Legal issues will take center stage in a June 14 gubernatorial forum co-hosted by The Commercial Appeal and the Tennessee Bar Association at the group's annual convention at the The Peabody hotel.

Four of the six major candidates — Democrats Craig Fitzhugh and Karl Dean, Republicans Randy Boyd and Beth Harwell — have confirmed for the forum, which coincides with the bar association's June 13-16 meeting.

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Mark Russell

The Commercial Appeal is sponsoring the forum, along with USA Today Network - Tennessee, the TBA and the Tennessee Judicial Conference.

The forum, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will be livestreamed on The Commercial Appeal's website and those of the five other properties that make up the Tennessee network.

Mark Russell, executive editor of The Commercial Appeal, will serve as moderator. The format will consist of one-on-one interviews with the candidates regarding such major legal issues as criminal justice reform, juvenile justice and bail reform.

"The Tennessee Bar Association is really excited to partner with The Commercial Appeal and USA Today Network-Tennessee to hear the candidates' views on the legal system, the judiciary and a number of other issues that matter to our members," said Lucian Pera, president of the TBA and a partner at Adams and Reese LLP.

"We're hoping in-depth conversations, one on one with each candidate, will allow us to understand what matters most to each of them," Pera added.

The USA Today Network-Tennessee has also co-hosted gubernatorial forums on education in January, health care in February and rural issues in April. A forum in May covered a host of topics.

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