The three Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate on Friday night asked those in attendance at the Oconee County Democratic Party gathering in Watkinsville to remember who had come to meet with them and, by extension, who had not.
“We shouldn’t anoint our candidates,” Steen Miles from Decatur said. “Every candidate should present their views before you, the voting public, and let them make their decision.”
|Meeting in Watkinsville|
Not present at the meet was candidate Michelle Nunn, who has generated more publicity than the others.
According to the Oconee County Democratic Committee, Nunn expressed regrets for not being able to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
Mostly Agreement On Issues
The 35 participants in the event asked a variety of questions of the three candidates during the session, which lasted just short of two hours and was held at the Community Center in Watkinsville.
The candidates gave mostly similar responses to questions about foreign policy, political gridlock in Washington, the war on drugs and on marriage rights.
All of the candidates expressed reservations about U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts.
They all said it will be important to find common ground with people with different views once the new Georgia senator gets to Washington.
They said drugs remain a problem and that federal efforts to address the problem have not been successful.
All supported same-sex legal unions, though they differed in the language they were willing to use to describe those unions.
Each candidate had been given five minutes of time before the audience posed its questions, and during this time the candidates expressed different priorities.
Miles, who went first, focused on equality of opportunity, job growth, education, the need to raise the minimum wage, and protection of the environment. She is a former journalist and legislator.
Branko Radulovacki, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, emphasized his support of the Affordable Care Act, called for immigration reform, and emphasized the need for investments in education.
Todd Robinson, retired military and from Columbus, said he wants to reform the welfare system to focus on work, invest more in the needs of “wounded warriors,” focus on education, and expand Medicare.
The video of these introductory comments is below.
Nunn In First Question
The first question posed to the candidates, by Robert Wyatt, asked them how they planned to compete with Nunn and if they would support her should she receive the nomination of the Democratic Party in the May 20 primary.
“For Steen Miles, there is no audience too large–or too small,” Miles said in response. She didn’t indicate if she would support Nunn should Nunn be the nominee.
“I am going to support the Democratic nominee, whomever he or she may be,” Radulovacki said. He said he would be clear on where he stands on the issues and let the voters decide.
Robinson also said he would support Nunn if she is the nominee. He said he wants people to focus on what he says and not on how much money he has been able to raise in the campaign.