Campaign season is expected to kick into high gear in the next few weeks, especially in the high-profile races for governor and U.S. Senate.
Another key race getting national attention is the 12th Congressional District, in which Augusta businessman Rick Allen is challenging U.S. Rep. John Barrow, who is running for a sixth term. Barrow is the last white congressional Democrat in the Deep South.
The two candidates have agreed to a candidate forum at Ogeechee Technical College. It is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in the auditorium and is hosted by the Statesboro Herald and statesboroherald.com.
The forum will be streamed live on statesboroherald.com, connectsavannah.com and effinghamherald.net and offered as links to media websites serving the 12th District, including Augusta, Savannah, Milledgeville, Waynesboro, Vidalia and Reidsville.
"As one of the major media outlets in District 12, we think it's important to offer voters a chance to see the candidates discuss issues in person," said Jim Healy, the operations manager for the Statesboro Herald. "I hope if you can't get to the forum, you'll watch it on statesboroherald.com. We really appreciate Ogeechee Tech allowing us to use their auditorium for the forum."
Both candidates said they are looking forward to the forum.
"Rick is really looking forward to this debate and hopes that Congressman Barrow agrees to more as well," Allen campaign spokesman Dan McLagan said. "Rick is grateful to the Statesboro Herald for making this debate happen."
Barrow said: "These debates are an important part of the political process for folks in our district. I'm a fighter for my constituents. From the deepening of the Port of Savannah to getting a VA outpatient clinic in Statesboro, I've got a record of results I'm happy to talk about. I look forward to discussing the important issues facing the 12th District and the nation, and I appreciate the Statesboro Herald for setting up this conversation with voters in the 12th District."
Candidates will be given two minutes each to introduce themselves. They then will be asked a series of questions relating to their candidacy and issues facing the nation, state and 12th District, alternating in order of who answered a question first.
Candidates will have up to two minutes to respond to each question. Finally, candidates will be given two minutes each to make a closing statement.
A timekeeper will be seated in the first row. During statements and answers, a sign will be held up when a candidate has 30 seconds remaining, 15 seconds and finally zero.
Questions will come from the Statesboro Herald and from a selection submitted at the forum by those in the audience who write a question on a file card.
Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.