September 27, 2018

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

AAUW Hosts General Election Candidate Forum Oct. 4

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta branch of the American Association of University Women will host a moderated general election candidate forum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Valdosta State University’s University Center Rose Room. The public is encouraged to attend.  

The candidate forum is an opportunity for voters to meet the candidates appearing on Lowndes County ballots and learn more about their views on various issues affecting the Valdosta-Lowndes County community.

Dr. Joseph Robbins will serve as moderator throughout the evening. He is head of the Department of Political Science at VSU.

Candidates from contested races will have an opportunity to appear on stage with their opponent, make a two-minute opening statement, respond to questions posed by voters in attendance, and offer a one-minute closing statement.

Candidates whose opponents are not present at the forum, as well as candidates who are running unopposed, will be able to make a statement and answer questions within time limits.    

The Valdosta branch of the AAUW has invited the following candidates to participate in the forum:

Governor — Brian Kemp, republican; Stacey Abrams, democrat; Ted Metz, libertarian; Bobby Waldrep, Bobby Williams, David C. Byrne, Rod Mack, write-in

Lieutenant Governor — Geoff Duncan, republican; Sarah Riggs Amico, democrat

Secretary of State — Brad Raffensperger, republican; John Barrow, democrat; Smythe Duval, libertarian

Attorney General — Chris Carr, republican; Charlie Bailey democrat

Commissioner of Agriculture — Gary Black, republican; Fred Swann, democrat

Commissioner of Insurance — Jim Beck, republican; Janice Laws, democrat; Donnie Foster, libertarian

State School Superintendent — Richard Woods, republican; Otha E. Thornton Jr., democrat; Sonia Francis-Rolle, write-in

Commissioner of Labor — Mark Butler, republican; Richard Keatley, democrat

Public Service Commissioner District 3 — Chuck Eaton, republican; Lindy Miller, democrat; Ryan Graham, libertarian

Public Service Commissioner District 5 — Tricia Pridemore, republican; Dawn A. Randolph, democrat; John Turpish, libertarian

U.S. Representative District 1 — Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, republican; Lisa M. Ring, democrat

U.S. Representative District 8 — Austin Scott, republican; James Cooper III, democrat

State Senator District 8 — Ellis Black, republican

State Representative District 174 — John Corbett, republican

State Representative District 175 — John LaHood, republican; Treva Gear, democrat

State Representative District 176 — Jason Shaw, republican; Barbara A. Seidman, write-in

State Representative District 177 — Dexter L. Sharper, democrat

Lowndes County Commissioner District 2 — Scott “Scottie” Orenstein, republican; Aaron Strickland, democrat

Lowndes County Commissioner District 3 — Tally Wisenbaker

Lowndes County Commissioner District 4 — Demarcus Marshall

Alapaha Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor — E. David Fields

Lowndes County Tax Assessor Post 2 — Dean Blevins, republican; Felicia F. Williams, democrat

Mayor of Lake Park — Keith Sandlin; Eric I. Schindler

Lake Park City Council — Ronald Carter; Tyler Davis; Sharon Fountain

The AAUW’s political forums were initiated by Dr. Jo Ann Hartman, an educator and association member who served on the Valdosta City Council from 1980 to 1984. These forums are dedicated in memory of Virginia Branan, a VSU alumna and educator who worked with Hartman and the AAUW to make these events both successful and a valued part of the association’s service to the South Georgia region.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The last day to register to vote in the upcoming general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 15. 

The University Center is located at 1203 N. Patterson St. Volunteers will be outside to help guide attendees.

Dr. Beverly Richardson Blake, senior academic adviser with VSU’s Centralized Advising Center, is president of the Valdosta branch of the AAUW. She may be reached at for more information.

Dr. Diane Holliman, a faculty member in VSU’s Department of Social Work, is co-chairwoman of the Valdosta branch of the AAUW’s Candidate Forum Committee. She may be reached at for more information.  Her students were in charge of sending invitations to all of the candidates.

Dr. Christine A. James, a faculty member is VSU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, is co-chairwoman of the Valdosta branch of the AAUW’s Candidate Forum Committee. She may be reached at for more information. Her students will volunteer at the forum, helping to set up, deliver questions to the moderator, and clean up afterwards. 

On the Web:

Note: The use of Valdosta State University’s facilities for this event does not constitute an endorsement by the university. The views of those invited to speak on campus are the views of the speaker and not of the university. VSU does not endorse or oppose any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other political campaign or election.