The Statesboro Herald, in cooperation with Ogeechee Technical College, is sponsoring a Democratic primary debate for U.S. House District 12, held at OTC’s Joseph E. Kennedy Building auditorium July 2 at 7 p.m.
The debate will pit two-term Congressman John Barrow (D) from Savannah against challenger Regina Thomas, a Georgia state senator also from Savannah.
“It’s important to debate in Statesboro because it’s the third largest city in the district, and Bulloch is the third largest county in the district, right behind Savannah and Augusta,” wrote Barrow in an e-mail. “Statesboro is also in the center of a whole bunch of smaller counties that together make up the largest community in the district. That’s why the voters in the area reflect the values of the district as a whole. And that’s why I’ve conducted some 20 public meetings in Bulloch County since last year.”
“Statesboro and its residents are just as important as any other city of the district. With a major university in Statesboro and economic opportunities/resources, we need to assist the area as much as possible,” wrote Thomas in an e-mail.
“Participating in a debate here — as with any other place — gives me a better feel for what is needed, how I can help the community on a federal level and how I can use any influence to assist you with state/local concerns. Listening/ hearing from the people is the best form of public service — then acting on those concerns.”
The debate will be moderated by Statesboro Herald Executive Editor Jim Healy and will feature a standard question- response format. In addition, members of the audience will be invited to submit questions for the candidates before the debate begins.
“We’re pleased to sponsor the forum along with Ogeechee Tech,” said Randy Morton, publisher of the Statesboro Herald.
“We hope people come out to learn more about the candidates and help them make a more informed decision when they vote.”
OTC President Dawn Cartee said she is excited by the prospect of a locally held debate.
“That’s our purpose. We try and serve the needs of the area — whether it’s assisting with facilities or providing educational programs,” she said. “I’m glad we can be of service to the community.”