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Local candidates in May 20 election will appear at Monday forum

Posted: April 20, 2014 - 12:11am
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Jim Bartley is a candidate for Columbia County Commission Chairman. Special Photo
Jim Bartley is a candidate for Columbia County Commission Chairman. Special Photo

On Monday evening, six Columbia County candidates will square off in a public forum, giving voters a chance to hear their views on an array of local issues.

The forum, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and The Columbia County News-Times will be held 6 p.m. Monday, at the Evans government complex auditorium.

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.

Those who have agreed to attend the forum include incumbent county ComĀ­misĀ­sion Chairman Ron Cross and his opponent 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 later this week.

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