The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA) hosted a candidate forum Monday night drawing a number of voters to hear the incumbents and their challengers.
U.S. Representative for the 7th Congressional District Rob Woodall, State Representative Tom Rice (Dist. 95) and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, County School Board member for Dist. 3 met their challengers in a candidate forum held at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Peachtree Corners.
Their Democratic challengers were Steve Reilly and Brooke Sisken, both Peachtree Corners residents, and Jen Falk from Berkeley Lake. The forum was moderated by the Honorable Judge Warren Davis of Peachtree Corners.
Each candidate was provided a three-minute opening statement, followed by questions in which each had one minute to respond.
In their opening statements Woodall reminded the audience that "We the people still run the show" and endorsed the idea that a strong state-controlled government was better than a federally controlled government.
Reilly, a Peachtree Corners resident for over 20 years, said it was "important that the government get back to building the middle class again and advocated working out reasonable compromises in order to move this country again."
Rice, who has served as the State Representative for the area for the past 16 years, said that he was proud of the bipartisan support he had received on the changes to the ad valorum tax that was passed this year.
Sisken, a resident for 18 years and a small business owner, said that there were three points that she would strive for should she be elected; representing the people, remembering that as a politician she would work for her constituents and would work diligently toward progressing toward creating a partnership in government.
Murphy, who has held the Dist. 3 seat for the past 16 years, said she was proud of the Gwinnett County Public School's triple A bond rating, the fact that it had been accredited with distinction, for receiving the 2010 Broad Prize and the four GCPS charter schools and more planned. "Your tax dollars are going a long way," she said.
Falk, told the audience she was "not a career politician," but had 20 years of human resource and retail business experience and "knows how successful businesses work." She said it was important to improve the 67 percent graduation rate and to reduce the sizes of the classrooms.
The candidates answered a series of questions posed by the audience and then were afforded three minutes for closing comments.
In closing Judge Davis and thanked the three men and three women for their time and answering the audience's question, saying, "Running for office takes commitment, dedication and courage."
Did you attend the forum? If so, did hearing the candidates speak help you in deciding who to vote for?