Published Thursday, January 17, 2013

Forum tonight for 6 House candidates

From Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

Early voting for the special election to fill the State House District 71 seat begins Jan. 23, and candidates will be sharing their views in a forum tonight at Wadsworth Auditorium in downtown Newnan.

Six candidates will vie for the District 71 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. Special election is Feb. 5 and a runoff – if necessary – will be March 5.

The candidates are: Democrat Cynthia Conradt Bennett, 57, an educator, and five Republicans: general contractor Thomas G. Crymes, 45; U.S. Army retiree Michael Farbo Jr., 57; attorney Darryl Marmon, 48; business owner David J. Stover, 41; and real estate broker Richard Weisser, 59.

"The state signed off on my database – I'm going to be finished with logic and accuracy testing no later than Friday," said Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins, who encouraged voters to determine in which district they should vote before they head to the polls.

Hours for early voting will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. Early voting – which ends Feb. 1 – is held in the Coweta Voter Registration Office, located at the Coweta County Administration building in Newnan.

Scoggins said she sent the paper absentee ballot order to the printer Tuesday, and the printer got state approval the same day. She said she expects to get the paper absentee ballots Thursday

"He'll probably print them today and overnight them," she said Wednesday. "It's looking good in this short time frame."

Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, the Democratic Party and the Coweta GOP are co-sponsoring tonight's forum for the candidates seeking the Georgia House District 71 seat.

The forum will be 7-8:30 p.m. at Wadsworth Auditorium on Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan, where candidates have been invited to present their platforms.

The forum will follow a modified version of the League of Women Voters rules for public forums. Each candidate will have an opportunity for opening and closing statements, and will be presented a series of questions vetted from the chamber’s membership and sponsoring organizations.

The seat, formerly held by Billy Horne, R-Sharpsburg, became vacant upon the withdrawal of Rep.-elect Robert Stokely, R-Sharpsburg. Stokely accepted an appointment as a Coweta Magistrate Court judge. The district includes most of eastern Coweta County and a portion of Peachtree City.

There is no charge to attend the candidate forum and seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Sponsors will not endorse any candidate and the chamber will continue its policy of remaining neutral toward all candidates, officials said.

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