Candidates for first and second selectmen will meet Thursday evening, Oct. 24 in a forum sponsored by three student groups at Staples High School.

The forum is planned from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Staples cafeteria and is open to the public, the groups said.

Both party tickets in the Nov. 5 election -- Democrats Helen Garten and Melissa Kane and Republicans Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner -- are expected to participate, according to the sponsoring Staples groups, the Junior Statesmen of America, the Young Democrats and the Young Republicans.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Connecticut's top elections official, will be the moderator.

Youth civic activism and involvement in local politics will be one topic in the forum, which will feature questions for the candidates submitted by students, the sponsors said in a news release. Questions also will cover a variety of town issues.

Each candidate will be allowed to make a two-minute closing statement.

Sponsors urged attendees to arrive by 5:30 p.m. so the program may begin promptly at 6.