Voters Get a Chance to Meet and Greet Candidates
Candidates running for various offices set up booths and took part in a meet-and-greet with the public before Gwinnett County judicial candidates debated at the The Gwinnett County Judicial Candidate Forum.
In partnership with the Organization of Chinese Americans (Georgia) and the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, the League of Women Voters of Gwinnett County hosted a Judicial Candidate forum at Berkmar High School last night.
The forum was crowded as candidates with grassroots campaigns took the opportunity to share their message and shake hands with future constituents.
David Hancock, a Suwanee man running for Congress against incumbent Rob Woodall, is making his second bid for public office. He ran for State House four years ago.
“The reason I ran four years ago is that the guy that had been my representative for years and years, no one would run against him,” said Hancock.
Hancock wishes more people would consider running so that the public has more options.
After much consideration, Hancock, a software company executive, decided to run again, this time for Congress. He has pledged to accept no money, and so getting out and meeting voters in places like this is part of his grassroots campaign.
Many of this year's candidates are first-timers. Karen Bennett, Georgia House District 94 candidate, and Mark Williams, State Senate 55 candidate, are both new to politics, and were inspired to run when the districts were redrawn.
Neither Chris Ballar nor Marlene Duwell, both running for Gwinnett County Probate Judge, have run before. Both were given the opportunity to speak before a media panel and the public to make their positions and individual strengths known.
“People learn so much about the candidates this way,” said League of Women Voters member Dot Shaw. “I hope they will learn how the political system works. If they learn it, they can be more involved.”
While judicial elections often do not get too much attention, retirements of three long-time judges has brought more candidates to the surface.
Gwinnett Superior Court Judge
Gwinnett State Court Judge
Gwinnett Probate Court Judge
Video of the forum will be available on Gwinnett County's website Friday at 8pm.