By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Political debates to return
First of two Monday
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
Continuing its series of political debates, the Forsyth County Republican Party will give voters a look at the party’s top two candidates in several state races this week.

The first of two debates will be held Monday and features Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins, who are running for the District 9 U.S. House seat.

Also appearing will be Sam Olens and Preston Smith, who are vying for the Republican nomination for state attorney general.

On Wednesday, the debate will bring together state insurance and safety fire commission candidates Ralph Hudgens and Maria Sheffield, as well as District 2 public service commission hopefuls John Douglas and Tim Echols.

Party Chairman Ethan Underwood said the debate was originally going to be limited to the District 9 congressional candidates.

“We had candidates from other races who were asking for us to hold debates, and we obliged,” he said. “Forsyth County is an important population of Republican voters and I think they want to try to get out their message to as many people as possible.”

Underwood said he hasn’t heard back from Republican hopefuls Jody Hice or Rob Woodall in the District 7 U.S. House race. The district covers some of south Forsyth.

There is a possibility they may show up, he said, adding party officials would “love to have the candidates come out and tell us more about themselves.”

The debates will follow the same format as previous events, asking questions of the candidates and allowing more than one opportunity for rebuttal.
Underwood noted that three of the state offices are not as well known.

“A lot of folks go to the ballot box and these are the races that they either skip over or guess when they vote,” he said. “We want to make sure people make informed decisions, so this is our opportunity to try to introduce these candidates to Forsyth voters.”