Residents will have a chance to hear from the three candidates in the local sheriff’s race during a debate next week.
Organized by the Forsyth County Tea Party, the event is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Forsyth County Senior Center, 595 Dahlonega St.
Steve Voshall, founder of the local tea party, said incumbent Ted Paxton and challengers Lauren McDonald III and Duane Piper have been sent 10 questions to answer prior to the debate.
The queries cover a variety of topics, ranging from budget cuts and crime rates to deputy promotions and employee retention.
Voshall said the answers likely will be posted online.
In addition, those who attend the meeting Monday night will be allowed to write questions on note cards for the candidates to field.
Paxton is serving his third term as sheriff, while Piper is a retired deputy who spent 16 years with the local sheriff’s office and 25 in law enforcement.
McDonald, Forsyth County’s coroner since 2001, is the owner of McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory.
Voshall said each candidate will have five minutes to introduce himself, two minutes for each question and three minutes to make a closing statement.
“We hope that with that format to be able to take 30 plus questions from the floor, from the people that are attending,” Voshall said. “It should be extremely educational.”
He added that the questions will alternate between candidates.
A candidate who does not use his full two minutes to answer one question may add the unused time to another question.
He said repeated questions, as well as those that are too similar or attack a candidate will be weeded out.
“It’s good that we have competition and we have people that are stepping up and it’ll be good for Forsyth to be able to have some give and take and [questions and answers] on different issues inside the sheriff’s department,” Voshall said.