A Grovetown "stump" meeting Thursday attracted 10 area political candidates and their staffers, but only a few members of the public.
At Liberty Park Community Center, more campaign signs dotted the lawn of the park than there were people in attendance for the meeting sponsored by the Grovetown Merchants Association.
After speeches by unopposed incumbents Kay Allen, the tax commissioner, and Pat Hardaway, the probate judge, Grovetown City Council candidate Barry Davis said he has a long record of serving the community. He touted himself as a business-friendly candidate who wants to maintain the needed infrastructure for sustained growth.
Theo Knight, Davis' opponent, referred to himself as a family man who wants to improve the traffic conditions of Robinson Avenue and bolster the city's police force.
The men are running to fill the unexpired term of Councilman David Daughtry, who died in February.
Former Harlem Mayor Scott Dean, who is running for the Columbia County District 4 Commission Seat, was unable to attend the meeting. He was in Guatemala attending to issues involving his family's pending adoption of five children, said his campaign chairman, Mike Sleeper, who spoke on his behalf.
"He is a proven commodity," Sleeper said of Dean. He called Dean a "fiscal watchdog" able to properly govern taxpayer funds.
Dean's opponent, David Payne, questioned the former mayor's financial-management abilities. He said Harlem taxpayers have spent about $324,000 in five years on attorneys' fees.
State House District 117 opponents Lee Anderson and Brett McGuire took different approaches in their stump speeches.
Anderson focused more on his past public service, which includes serving on the county's commission and school board. McGuire discussed issues a state representative likely will face in the next legislative session.
Anderson claimed as his biggest accomplishment as a commissioner was securing 30 percent of the funding from a recent bond referendum for District 4.
McGuire said he wants to bring a commonsense approach to state politics by reducing government spending and lowering taxes.
U.S. House District 10 candidate Barry Fleming, the former holder of the state District 117 seat, told those in attendance he supports the FairTax proposal, wants more tightly secured borders and favors expansion of nuclear power as an alternative energy source.
Fleming's opponent, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, was in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, but his field representative, Reagan Williams, spoke on his behalf.
Williams said Broun has supported legislation that defines life as beginning at conception, that he wants to halt illegal immigration, and has co-sponsored the FairTax Amendment, which would replace federal income taxes with a national sales tax and abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
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