On Thursday, May 26th, an LD-14 candidate debate event took place at the Victory Fellowship Theater. Hosted by the Graham County Tea Party, the event featured the men and women who are running for government positions within the state capital. The event was supposed to start at six thirty, but instead it began at seven that night. Both Democrat and Republican party runners attended, sitting side by side at a long table in one of the large theater rooms.
As local people came into the theater, they were given cards to write their questions on. These questions would be presented to the candidates at the end of the debate.
When it was time to begin, each candidate was asked to introduce themselves. One by one, each individual did so. Senator Gail Griffin (R), senate candidate Jaime Alverez (D), representative candidate Becky Nutt(R), representative candidate Sup. Drew John (R), representative candidate Mike Holmes(D), representative candidate Anthony Sizer (R), and representative candidate Dennis Barger (R), were in attendance.
After a series of questions that each candidate answered, they were given the choice to answer yay or nay questions. These questions ranged from gun control to education.
Finally, the candidates were faced with the inquiries of the people. Many of the questions posed to the candidates concerned dark money. For those who are not familiar with the term, dark money refers to the funds given to politicians without the public knowing about it. Many of the candidates said that they are running clean elections. This means that they only take money in five dollar increments per person. “I”m not running clean elections,” stated representative candidate Drew John, “I’ve worked hard all my life to get where I’m at, and I’ve worked hard to keep a reputation and they trust me.” He later went on to say that when someone receives money and favors for political advantages, it is a matter of the questionable character of the recipient.
“I’m running clean elections,” stated candidate Drew Jones, “And I’m not going to any rocks at my opponents who aren’t. But I can tell you this, if you think that if a politician receives money, especially large amounts of money from corporations, and doesn’t pay attention to what those corporations wants them to do, you’re not paying attention. You’re just not.”
The candidates were passionate about their causes, and the people were happy to mingle with their candidate of choice. It was an informative afternoon for all who attended, and by the end of the evening, many people came away with a widened perspective.