Politics & Government

Candidates’ forum draws few voters, candidates

Nearly 25 people attended a political forum Thursday evening at Macon City Hall, where candidates for offices in local, state and national government addressed their top issues.

Hopefuls in the following races attended the event, hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Macon and Middle Georgia: Bibb County sheriff; Bibb County Commission chairman, Bibb County Commission District 4; Macon Water Authority chairman; Bibb County School Board District 3; State House District 140; and U.S. Senate.

Save for Sheriff Jerry Modena, who is seeking re-election to a third term, Scotty Shepherd, his opponent, and incumbent District 4 Commissioner Joe Allen and his challenger, Maurice Atkinson, no races had both tickets represented.

Reportedly, at least two other forums took place Thursday night.

Panelists Brandon Long, a WMGT anchor, Jami Gaudet, a local reporter for ABC News, and WMAZ reporter Randall Savage questioned the candidates on their key defining issues and legislative priorities, consolidation between city and county governments, new ways to address local crime and the school system’s below average high school dropout rate.

“It’s critical that we examine our candidates very closely so we can be sure they represent those values we expect from our leaders,” said the Rev. Victor Hunt, who organized the event.

Macon attorney Veronica E. Brinson moderated the live program, which will re-air on Cox Cable Channel 14 until the Nov. 4 general election.

In attendance were: Modena (D); Shepherd (R); Allen (D); Atkinson (R); Sam Hart Sr., the Democratic candidate for County Commission chairman; Daniel Bumgardner (R), running for chairman of the water authority; Darryl Martin, a representative for District 3 school board hopeful Susan Sipe (D); James “Bubber” Epps (D), campaigning for House District 140; and Allen Buckley, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate.