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Political 'stump' meeting is Oct. 9 in downtown Statesboro
Dozens of election hopefuls expected to speak at Farmer's Market
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      Citizens will find more than fresh produce in downtown Statesboro Saturday, Oct. 9. The 2010 Leadership Bulloch class is sponsoring an old-fashioned political “stump meeting” at the Statesboro Farmer’s Market.
      The stump meeting will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Sea Island Bank, in the area where local vendors hold the farmer’s market.
      Speakers will include candidates for the U.S. Senate, 12th Congressional District; governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state school superintendent, public service commissioner and agricultural commissioner.
      Some of the candidates slated to appear are former governor and current Democrat nominee for governor Roy Barnes, Republican congressional candidate Ray McKinney and local state legislator candidates Jack Hill, Jon Burns, Butch Parrish and Jan Tankersley.
      The candidates will speak on a first come, first served basis, and a moderator will introduce the speaker before each five- minute speech. Security will be provided by Statesboro Police and Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department.
      The purpose of the event is “helping get state candidates here and exposing Statesboro and Bulloch County, letting them ( the candidates) know what we are all about,” said Russell Keen, director of Governmental Relations at Georgia Southern University. The stump meeting is also an effort to “engage the community and help citizens become more aware and knowledgeable of the candidates.”
      Also sponsored by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Leadership Bulloch 2010 class, the event is intended to lure more visitors to  the downtown area to not only help connect candidates to the citizens, but bring more awareness about the Mainstreet Statesboro Farmer’s Market. The market draws vendors and shoppers from Statesboro and surrounding areas, and has had crowds of more than 2,000 during special events, Keen said.
      Hopefully, the event “will bring business into the downtown area,” said Leadership Bulloch 2010 member James Lawson.  Having candidates come to Statesboro will “bring a lot of awareness and put us on the map for these candidates.”
      The stump meeting is a great way to “basically inform the people about the candidates” and vice versa, where ideas and opinions can be shared. Hopefully, the winning candidates will remember Statesboro in a positive light once in office, he said.
      “We hope the community gets involved and comes out to join us,” said Laura Lee Stone, another member of the 2010 Leadership Bulloch class. She said it’s a great chance to inform citizens about the candidates and their platforms, and “give them a chance to hear what they have to say.

The Mainstreet Statesboro Farmer’s Market will be open Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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