Next week, the public will get a chance to hear from all the candidates running for three seats being contested in the May 20 election.
A candidates forum, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and The Columbia County News-Times will will be held Monday, April 21 at the Evans government complex auditorium.
The six candidates for two commission seats and one school board district will answer questions from the Chamber and the News-Times, and also field written questions taken from the audience. The forum starts at 6 p.m.
Those who have agreed to attend the forum include incumbent county Commission Chairman Ron Cross and his oppoenent Jim Bartley, a local builder and political activist.
Also, both candidates who qualified to replace outgoing District 1 Commissioner Ron Thigpen have agreed to attend. Doug Duncan, a vice president with Augusta staffing firm MAU Inc., will face Hafeez Chaudhry, a Martinez businessman and hotel developer.
The only contested race for the county Board of Education is in District 3, represented by incumbent Mike Sleeper. He will face a political newcomer, Staten Heard, a retired logistics executive who worked for General Motors and EZ-GO Textron.
Both have agreed to attend the forum.
Seating is limited, but for those who cannot attend, the News-Times will post a video of the forum on the newspaper Web site next week.