A planned debate between candidates for a state House seat in north Forsyth and Hall counties did not go as scheduled after one candidate suffered an injury earlier in the week.
A forum hosted by the Forsyth County Young Republicans and the Forsyth County Republican Party was intended to have a debate between state House District 28 candidates Brent Cox and Julie Tressler, though plans changed after Tressler suffered a head injury and concussion the day before the debate, according to moderator Mike Valdes, a Republican candidate for the District 5 seat of the Forsyth County Board of Education.
Instead, Valdes asked several of the prepared questions to Cox and read a statement from Tressler.
Cox and Tressler will face off in the Tuesday, June 21 runoff after being the top two vote-getters in a six-candidate primary in May. In the primary, Cox received 32.3% of the total, and Tressler about 22.7%.
The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Claudia Wood in November.
Cox, a business owner and football coach from Forsyth County, answered a number of questions from the moderator and those in attendance during the forum.
When asked what was piece of legislation he would support if elected, Cox said he is in favor of school choice, or having state funding follow students rather than public schools, allowing students to attend home school, private school or other options.
“I think it’s important because of situations that occur for children whether in District 28 or in the rest of the state,” he said. “I think that there are solutions to private school, home school, hybrid schools, public schools. We have the best schools, I believe, in the state at all levels. I also believe accountability is a big thing, and I think parents should be able to choose where their money is going.”
In his closing statements, Cox said he wanted to help make Forsyth and the state more successful and wanted to bring high-tech jobs to the county.
“I really want to see the best cyber security companies in the world find their business home in District 28,” he said. “I think this is an important piece of our future. I think that our schools are well-represented, I think Lake Lanier, Forsyth County, Hall County, the mountains, it’s a great place to live. I would love nothing more than us to find a way to have the best cyber security in the nation right here in Forsyth County.”
Though Tressler could not attend the debate, Tressler did pass along a statement, which was read by Valdes, explaining her injury and why she could not attend.
“Julie would like to convey her disappointment at not being able to participate in tonight’s Forsyth Young Republican and Forsyth GOP forum,” Valdes said. “Last night, Julie had an accident at home and hit her head. She fell, saw stars and briefly blacked out. She waited a while to determine that she was okay. This morning, Julie had an unusual, severe headache, was nauseous and had trouble focusing. She went to the emergency room, where it was determined she had suffered a concussion.”
“A CAT scan showed no issues, thankfully. She was sent home with instructions to rest, and her symptoms should clear up in a few days. If you know Julie, she is not entirely happy with having to stay home and wants to be with her supporters, all of Forsyth and all conservatives as this runoff is nearing the finish line. She thanks you for your prayers and assures you she is ready, willing and able to serve District 28.”
Tressler is a Forsyth County resident and works in residential real estate sales.
She has previously said she is in favor of eliminating the state income tax and banning the teaching of divisive concepts from schools and colleges receiving public funds. She said she is also in favor of preservation of Lake Lanier and addressing traffic and congestion issues.