Friday, May 28, 2010

Two Candidate Forums Scheduled for Early June in Oconee County

Parties Have Events Too

Two forums for Democratic and Republican candidates in the July 20 party primaries are scheduled to be held early next month. Both are open to the public.

The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce will hold its Political Forum from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on June 3 at the North Oconee High School Auditorium on Rocky Branch road near Hog Mountain road.

Russ Page and I, on behalf of local citizen groups, have organized a Candidate Forum starting at 8 p.m. on June 9 at the community center in Veterans Park on Hog Mountain road.

In addition, the executive committee of the Oconee County Republican Party, in cooperation with the board of the Oconee Regional Republican Women, will hold a candidate forum for Republican candidates in the contested races in the county from 7-9 p.m. on June 17 at the Watkinsville Community Center, 191 VFW drive.

Early voting actually starts on June 7 at the Board of Elections and Registration office next to the courthouse in Watkinsville. Voter registration runs through June 21, also at the office in Watkinsville.

The Chamber of Commerce Political Forum on June 3 will be moderated by Tim Bryant from 1340WGAU radio and will begin with an hour during which the candidates will have a chance to meet informally with the citizens.

Board of Commissioners candidates and Board of Education candidates will be on the stage from 7 to 8:10 p.m. and will be followed by candidates for the state House of Representatives and Senate.

Page and I will recognize citizens, who then will ask their questions of the candidates directly at the Candidate Forum on June 9. We will make sure that candidates have an equal amount of time to reply.

Our plan is to start with the BOC candidates, move next to the BOE candidates, and end with the candidates for the 113th House district, in which Oconee County lies.

We have commitments to attend from Tammy Gilland and Margaret Hale, candidates for the Post 3 BOC position in the July 20 Republican primary, as well as from John Daniell, running unopposed in the July 20 primary for Post 2 on the BOC.

Independent candidates have until July 2 to file their paperwork for the elections.

Mark Thomas, seeking Post 2 on the Board of Education, also has committed to attend. Mack Guest told me tonight he has to be out of town on business that night but that he will send a representative. Both Thomas and Guest will be competing in the Republican primary.

Carter Srickland, running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the Post 2 BOE position, also has committed to attend, as has Kim Argo, running unopposed in the Post 3 BOE Republican primary.

Daniell, Hale, Guest and Argo are incumbents.

Four candidates have filed for the 113th District post being vacated by Bob Smith’s retirement, and all have committed to attend the June 9 Candidate Forum.

The four are Suzy Compere, running unopposed in the Democrat primary, and Hank Huckaby, Tommy Malcom and Kirk Shook, running in the Republican primary.

Page and I also invited incumbent Sen. Bill Cowsert, running unopposed in the Republican primary, but Cowsert told me he will not be able to attend because he will be on vacation. No Democrat has filed to run against him.

While the Oconee County Republic Party event on June 17 only will involve questioning of the Republican candidates for the contested seats, all Republican candidates will be invited and have a chance to meet informally with citizens, Jay Hanley, chairman of the executive committee, told me tonight.

Hanley said he will release details on the format and commitments from the candidates soon.

The Oconee County Democratic Committee hosted 113th House district candidate Compere at its meeting on May 20.

The 113th House District includes all of Oconee County and parts of Morgan, Clarke and Olgethorpe counties.

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