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Slew of debates coming
Forums lead up to July 31 primary
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Forsyth County News

If you go

Forsyth County Republican Party debates will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Forsyth County Administration Building’s commissioners’ meeting room:

• Monday — Unopposed candidates, including those for county school board, clerk of court and tax commissioner

• Tuesday — County commission

• Wednesday — Sheriff and coroner (coroner will start at about 7:45 p.m.)

• June 25 — U.S. House Districts 7 and 9 (District 9 will begin at about 7:30 p.m.)

• June 27 — Contested state House and Senate races (Unopposed state Rep. Mark Hamilton will speak at 6:30 p.m., followed by 26th District House candidates at 7 p.m. and state Senate at 8 p.m.)

The Forsyth County AARP candidate forum will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Golden Corral on Market Place Boulevard.

The Fraternal Order of Police will host a forum on June 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the group’s lodge at 248 Castleberry Industrial Drive.

Local voters will have several options to meet candidates running in the July 31 primary during upcoming events.

The Forsyth County Republican Party will play host to the hopefuls on five evenings, each starting at 6:30 p.m., over the next two weeks.

The Forsyth County AARP has a commission forum planned for Friday, and the local Fraternal Order of Police invited county candidates for a June 27 event.

The local GOP will offer a debate format with questions, answers and rebuttals in each contested race, Chairman Ethan Underwood said.

Commission candidates, divided by district, will face off on Tuesday, followed by sheriff and coroner candidates on Wednesday.

The following week, candidates for U.S. House will debate June 25, and those in contested state House and Senate races will speak on June 27.

Those in uncontested races will also get an opportunity to address the audience, including the unopposed county offices on Monday night and unchallenged state incumbents will also get time on June 27.

“They are the Republican nominees, so we’re having them there for people to speak to and ask what they do,” Underwood said.

For the debates, the questions have been formulated by the executive committee in the local party, he said.

The party hopes for a good turnout in the Forsyth County Administration Building each night, though Underwood expects some races will draw more interest than others.

“We don’t pick or endorse candidates before the primary, so our job at this point is to try to get as much information to the voters as possible,” he said.

Other local groups also hope to inform by providing a forum for the candidates.

The AARP invited commission candidates from each of the three districts up for election, which include 2, 4 and 5.

Each candidate will get five minutes on Friday to introduce themselves and their platforms at the Golden Corral starting at 10:30 a.m., said president Marjorie Reeves.

There may also be time for questions from the group, and everyone is welcome, Reeves said.

The AARP decided to host the forum after several county candidates requested to be the featured speaker at the group’s meeting, she said.

“Then I thought, we need to open the door for all of them,” she said.

The Sgt. D. P. Land Lodge No. 82 of the Fraternal Order of Police invited candidates all contested county races, including commissioner, coroner, sheriff and chief magistrate judge.

President Chris Shelton said each person will get 5-10 minutes to speak, followed by a period for meet-and-greet with the audience.

The June 27 event is the FOP’s first candidate forum, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the group’s recently opened home lodge.

Local law enforcement works with many elected officials, Shelton said, so the FOP is working to get more involved with the vote.

“It serves two purposes. One, it lets the candidates see who we are and that we have a voice in the county,” he said. “It also puts the community in touch with us and us in touch with the community other than when you pick up the phone and dial 911.”