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Burns/Barrow debate to be held Monday at Ogeechee Technical College

With Georgia's 12th District up for grabs, Democratic Congressman John Barrow and Republican candidate Max Burns will face off in a forum Monday night at Ogeechee Technical College.
    Barrow defeated Burns in 2004, just two years after Burns was first elected to the House of Representatives.
    Representatives for both camps said they are looking forward to discussing the issues, which will range from agriculture to immigration to health care and others.
    "It's a chance for people to turn off the TV and radio, go to the debate and listen to what the two candidates have to say," said Tim Baker, campaign manager for Max Burns. "We believe our values and our vision speak for themselves."
    Harper Lawson, spokesman for the Barrow campaign, echoed Baker's sentiments on the significance of the forum.
    "The most important thing is for the voters to hear where each of the candidates stands on the issues," Lawson said.
    Monday's debate is one of several between the two candidates leading up to the election on November 7.  
    The forum is something the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event, began working on in August, said Hoke Reeves.
    Reeves, chairman of the Chamber's Government Operations and Legislative Affairs committee, said the goal of the forum was to allow voters to hear the positions of the candidates on the various issues.
    Representatives from Georgia Southern's Political Science Department as well as those in the agriculture industry and others were involved in formulating the questions for the candidates. Reeves said they wouldn't be taking questions from the audience.
    "The intent (of the forum) is to raise the level of involvement in the political process and to help the citizens become better informed of the issues," Reeves said.
    The race for Georgia's 12th District has drawn plenty of national attention as President George Bush has traveled to the area to raise money for Burns.
    Republicans are looking to reclaim the seat they lost in 2004; a seat which could be critical when it comes to determining which party has control of the House of Representatives.
    Barrow and Jim Marshall in Georgia's 8th District are two incumbents targeted by Republicans as possible seats they could wrestle away from Democrats. Bush was in Macon Tuesday to raise money for Marshall's opponent, Mac Collins.
    Collins, like Burns, is also a former Representative. He lost his bid for the United States Senate in 2004.    
    The event will have WTOC's Sonny Dixon as the moderator of the debate.
    For more information, call Courtney Mills, Director of Chamber Programs at (912) 489-9119 or by email at courtneymills@statesboro-chamber.org

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