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Candidate forum is Tuesday night
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Maxie Jones IV, left, and Donald Lovette will face each other in the Democratic primary on Aug. 31. - photo by Staff photos

If you go

• What: The 2012 Political Forum hosted by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty County NAACP.
• When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Shuman Recreation Center, 800 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville
• Information: Call 368-4445

Undecided voters for local elections will have the chance to hear directly from the candidates in three contested Liberty County races in a political forum exactly one week before the primary election.
The free event, sponsored by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Shuman Recreation Center in Hinesville.
Chamber CEO Leah Poole said that only the candidates in contested races will participate, and the forum will begin with an introduction to the ballot referenda.
“These types of events are important because they provide a chance to hear from the candidates themselves in a public setting on the issues relevant to every person in Liberty County,” Poole said.
NAACP President Dwight Newbould said the event is a great source for voters to hear each candidate’s platform in a neutral arena and to be informed about voter issues.
Newbould said it is hard for voters to attend meet-and-greet events because it creates the perception that they already support a candidate.
For example, Newbould said sometimes he wants to learn more but does not want his presence at such events to imply that the NAACP president supports a specific candidate.  
“This is a neutral area where people can come undecided and not really show who they support,” Newbould said. “Tell the voters come on out if they’re undecided or to hear some more or to get some clarification.”
Board of education District 2 candidates Charlie Frasier and Carolyn Smith-Carter will be first, followed by board of commissioners District 4 candidates Pat Bowen and Ted Eby. Commission chairman candidates Maxie R. Jones and Donald Lovette will be last before the floor is opened to written audience questions.
Each candidate will have a 90-second introduction and 10 questions to answer provided by the event panelists. Each will have 60 seconds to answer, and the first candidate to answer will rotate with each question.
Audience members who would like to engage the candidates are not required to sign up in advance, but they will be asked to submit their questions in writing.
Poole said the staff will screen the questions to ensure there are no personal attacks.
The last event of its type was held in October leading up to the municipal elections.

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