Wake up! Ever since Representative Mary Lou Dickerson announced she would retire from the legislature, stacks of people have jumped into the race to claim Dickerson's seat. We thought it was time for a 36th District candidate forum—with drinks—to ask the hard questions.

And, really, who better to moderate the forum—with drinks—and ask those questions than Mary Lou Dickerson herself (along with me)? It will be at Spitfire in Belltown on April 16.

But as all political nerds know, forums are usually boring. So to suspense it up, we've added an element of risk! Surprise! Tarantulas! Kidding! After each round of questions, the audience will vote one of the candidates off the panel (we haven't figured out how the voting will work, but we've got a week and half to figure it out).

So far we have confirmation from City Hall staffer Sahar Fathi, Progressive Majority director Noel Frame, and Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton. Meanwhile, Evan Clifthorne says he's trying to make it, and, as for Brett Phillips, we've sent him emails but he's so far MIA. (UPDATE: Phillips says he'll attend, and Brian Holler has dropped out of the race entirely, writing on Facebook, "While it is disappointing that we will not be able to proceed, we have learned a tremendous amount about ourselves." Awww. Meanwhile, Progressive Party activist Linde Knighton is also jumping into the event. Hurrah!)

The Deets: Monday April 16 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Spitfire, a fine purveyor of taquitos—and drinks—located at 2219 Fourth Avenue. There are no tickets; it's first come, first squished into the back room. See you there!