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GOP debate on Tuesday

Voters will have a chance this week to hear a debate between candidates in two local races and interviews with three other candidates.

Starting at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, the Forsyth County Republican Party will host a series of debates and candidate interview at the Forsyth County Administration Building.

 “This is the final of the 2018 debate series the Forsyth County Republican Party has been holding,” said Patrick Bell, chairman of the party. “We’ve got more going on in this one than any of the others. We condensed some of the other debate into it.”

Debates will be held for Republican candidates for the District 24 state House seat between Incumbent Sheri Gilligan and challenger Joanna Cloud and Forsyth County Board of Education District 1 Candidates Mark Weiss and Wes McCall, the only candidates to qualify for the seat currently held by Ann Crow, who is not seeking re-election.

For Forsyth County Board of Commissioners District 1, State Court Judge and state House District 25, a single candidate in the races will give an interview on Tuesday.

“Only one candidate will be there,” Bell said. “Their opponents had conflicts and could not make it, so what we elected to do is have a candidate interview and basically ask them similar questions to what would have been asked in the debate.”

The evening’s schedule is:

6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Board of Education District 1 debate

7:05 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Commission District 1 candidate interview

7:15 p.m. - 7:25 p.m.: State Court Judge candidate interview

7:25 p.m. - 7:35 p.m.: District 25 state House candidate interview

7:35 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.: Intermission

7:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.: District 24 state House debate.

A previous debate was held for District 7 U.S. House and District 27 state Senate candidates, and Tuesday’s will be the combination of two previously planned debate events.

Bell said there was a good response to the first debate.

“We had standing room only. It was unbelievable,” he said. “From a citizen and from the party standpoint, it was great to see that many people interested. And I think a lot of times in these debates… the reality is people have their minds made up. They might change a few minds, but really it is an opportunity for candidates to make public their platform.

“In the last debate, we actually got feedback and heard people talking as we were walking around, and there were people who changed their minds. “