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What Republican voters had to say about candidates at this meet and greet
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was one of serveral Republican candidates to speak at a meet and greet on Thursday hosted by the Republican Women of Forsyth County and the Republican parties for Forsyth, Dawson and Gwinnett counties. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

For voters, election season can be a little overwhelming as candidates make their pitches and pleas about why they might be the best choice at the local, state and federal levels.

However, this week some voters had a chance to hear from several Republican candidates at a meet and greet on Thursday hosted at the home of Bill Fielder by the Republican Women of Forsyth County and the Republican parties for Forsyth, Dawson and Gwinnett counties.

Before voters, who were not affiliated with any of the campaigns, heard from the candidates, a few of them spoke with Forsyth County News to say what brought them out and to talk about what their main issues are heading into the election.

Most of the voters, such as former Forsyth County Commissioner Marcie Kreager, said they had not yet decided on a candidate and wanted to check them out for themselves.

“This is an important election cycle,” Kraeger said. “There’s a lot of changes going on in the county at the county-level, the state level and certainly for the U.S. Congress level to see who’s here. I want to hear the candidates, meet them, have a chance to shake their hand, ask them some questions because I haven’t made up my mind about anybody.”

With all of the hype surrounding the election, some have only recently gotten involved with the local parties, including Leigh Johnson, who said she had recently become a member of the Republican Women and the meet and greet was the first meeting she had attended as a member.

When asked if she had a candidate in mind for her congressional seat, District 7, Johnson said she also wanted to hear from more candidates before making a decision from the crowded field.

“There are so many, there are like seven or 10 in the group now, so no, there’s not one that I would say, ‘Oh, I want them,’” she said. “There was one I met, Rich McCormick, that I was like ‘Oh, yeah,’ but now there’s so many I don’t know.”

For some voters, before making a decision, they wanted to hear the candidates stances on the issues, like Kyle Robbins, who said he was trying to get a “for sure lock on who I support in all these races.”

“I think the biggest thing that we should probably be advocating for is actually shrinking government spending, getting our border under control and no amnesty for illegals, because that’s what’s hurting or driving wages down for citizens,” Robbins said. “I have an issue with that.”

Sandra Bice, a north Forsyth resident, said she was also undecided but came to the meeting as a guest of a friend who is a member of the Republican Women to meet the candidates and see where they stand.

“I feel like now, that the United States is really in turmoil,” Bice said, “and it’s something that if we as American citizens don’t start standing up and find out exactly what’s going on out there, who we can support to do the best for our nation … I felt like this would be a good opportunity to get a little feeling about what the politicians in the state of Georgia, in my county, stand for and am I going to support them.”

When asked about the main issues important to her in deciding between the candidates, Bice said it depended on the level of government.

“Locally, I think we’re going to have to do something about the transportation problem here in Forsyth County,” Bice said. “It is just becoming massive and we’re going to have to either stop building, stop giving so many permits or get roads repaired before we do that.

“Statewide, I really would like to see some things go more into education in the state of Georgia, and of course, nationally, the politicians in Washington, they’ve got to step up to the plate for what they’re elected for and do their job and stop acting like children on the playground.”