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Candidates square off at forum tonight

Candidates in four races on local ballots in the May 20 general primary will square off in a candidates forum here Thursday. The voter education event, sponsored by the chamber of commerce and Lamar County Farm Bureau, begins at 6 p.m at the Barnesville Civic Center. The two Republican candidates for the District 2 post on the Lamar County commission will be there. George Brown and Robert Heiney are vying to replace Charles Glass who stepped down to seek the commission chairmanship. There are no Democrats in this race so it will be decided in the primary. Also invited are House District 130 incumbent David Knight and his opponent, Jason K. Lovett. This is another race without a Democrat that will be decided May 20. Perhaps the most heated session at the forum will be that featuring those seeking to succeed District 16 state senator Ronnie Chance who resigned. The seven, all Republicans, are Bob Barnard, James W. Clifton, Marty Harbin, Bill Johnston, Erik A. Manning, David J. Studdard and Gil B. Williams. This race also has no Democrats so the field will be thinned to two May 20 and the final victor will emerge following the July 22 runoff vote. Finally, incumbent District 3 U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and his opponent, Chip Flanegan, were invited. Again, this is a race featuring no Democrats that will be decided in the primary. Rep. Westmoreland will not attend. Flanegan will reportedly be at the forum to greet voters but will not speak. The forum will be moderated by The Herald Gazette publisher Walter Geiger. If you have questions you would like the candidates to answer, call the chamber office at 770-358-5884.

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