Candidates speak out at Sumter forum - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Candidates speak out at Sumter forum

Candidates from six different contests spoke (Source:WALB) Candidates from six different contests spoke (Source:WALB)
The event was put on by the chamber of commerce (Source:WALB) The event was put on by the chamber of commerce (Source:WALB)
Greg Duke, US House 2 candidate (Source:WALB) Greg Duke, US House 2 candidate (Source:WALB)
Sanford Bishop, US House 2 candidate (I) (Source:WALB) Sanford Bishop, US House 2 candidate (I) (Source:WALB)
SUMTER CO., GA (WALB) -

Candidates from a number of different races spoke to voters Monday at a forum in Sumter County.

 A county commission hopeful to even a U.S. Senate Libertarian candidate each got seven minutes tonight to discuss their platform.

Georgia State House District 138 Republican incumbent Mike Cheokas laid out his differences to Democratic candidate Bill McGowan. The two had varying opinions on the governor's proposed Opportunity School District amendment.

"The school board would no longer have any control," McGowan said. "The local tax payers would no longer have a local school board controlling there monies. These monies would be used by that superintendent in Atlanta."

"You realize that that the opportunities your child has are limited," Cheokas said. "That there is a ceiling that other children don't have. They have the whole gambit of opportunities in front of them. How would you feel?"

The race for District 138 has been tight over the past two election cycles. Cheokas earned the win with around 52 percent of the vote in 2014. 

Audience members also listened to those fighting for the U.S. House District 2 seat. That position has been held by Democrat Stanford Bishop since the early 90s. Republican Candidate Greg Duke is hoping to change that though. 

"Being number 38 in seniority out of 435 members, I'm positioned to be a member of the house appropriations committee," Bishop said.

"We're not seeing the results of much of that experience in this district," Duke said. "I've been a part of this district for 54 years. It used to be a fabulous place to live. "

While some are ready for the elections to be over, the democratic process is something chamber members said is crucial to the community. 

All the candidates from tonight's forum will be on the ballot in November.  

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