Live Blog: News 12 hosts GOP 12th Congressional District Candidates Forum

By: Kara Apel Email
By: Kara Apel Email

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Full video from the forum (Note: It starts about one minute in):

8 p.m.

Some highlights from the forum:

Rick Allen:

  • "The Republican party must take control of this government and begin to create jobs, grow this economy and look at the fiscal responsibility required to run this nation."
  • "'Obamacare' is the worst piece of legislation ever filed."
  • "We have no vision in this country. And when there's no vision, the people perish."

Lee Anderson:

  • "I'm fed up with Obama, Barrow for wanting to shove the largest tax increase down our throat in American history and wanting to call it health care reform."
  • On the TSPLOST: "We did not do what Obama and Barrow did and shove it down your throat. It's an option for the people."
  • On starting in Congress: "I will cut my own salary 20 percent. I will encourage each congressman to follow me."

Wright McLeod:

  • "I'm the only candidate here that's been shot at before, and you know, as Churchill said, there's nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at ... especially when they miss the mark."
  • "Until we hit detailed entitlement reform ... everything else is lip service."
  • "We need term limits, and it's going to take a constitutional amendment to do it."

Maria Sheffield:

  • On the DREAM Act: "We have to make sure we keep these illegal invaders from entering our country. ... I do not believe there should be a path to citizenship for people who have illegally invaded our country."
  • "We have been moving towards a socialist agenda where the liberals in Washington, D.C., are trying to lead us to believe that the government is the answer to all of our questions."
  • "Too many people say one thing in the district and go and vote another way in Congress."

7 p.m.

Wright McLeod and Maria Sheffield during the forum.

The media panel during the forum.

6:55 p.m.

The candidates all take their seats.

News 12's Richard Rogers talks with Rick Allen and Lee Anderson.

6:30 p.m.

We're half an hour away from the start of the forum, and the room is quickly filling up!

The stage is set, the questions are ready and the crowd is ready to hear what the candidates have to say.

As candidates mingle with their constituents, News 12's crews are on the scene, setting up so you can view the forum in your homes and on

About the forum:

On July 31, these candidates will face off on the General Primary/Republican Election Ballot. The winner will face Democratic incumbent John Barrow in the November 2012 general election.

Rick W. Allen of Augusta, Ga.
Age: 60
Occupation: General contractor

Lee Anderson of Grovetown, Ga.
Age: 55
Occupation: Farmer and businessman

Wright McLeod of Augusta, Ga.
Age: 48
Occupation: Attorney

Maria Sheffield of Dublin, Ga.
Age: 38
Occupation: Attorney

The debate is sponsored, in part, by the Richmond County Republican Committee.

WRDW News 12 is carried on Comcast Cannel 10/WRDW HD 233, Atlantic Broadband channel 5/WRDW HD 405 and Knology Channel 10/WRDW HD 902. News 12 is broadcast free over the air at 12.1. News 12 is online at

What issues are most important to you this election year? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jeff Location: Augusta on Jul 19, 2012 at 08:31 AM
    I enjoyed the debate last night. It was handled in a very professional manner. Cudo's to WRDW. I wasn't sure who to vote for before the debate but I know now. Thanks!!!
  • by b.b. Location: augusta on Jul 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
    Way to go Lee Anderson! I think and believe that Mr. Anderson did a great job tonight and has now prooven he is the best choice not only to be the republican candidate for congress but to also be our Disticts new congressman. Thank You news 12 for covering the debate. I hope we will see more things like this debate to come in the future. It was top notch all the way around. Congrats again to Lee Anderson and News 12 as well.
  • by Patrick Location: Hephzibah on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:37 PM
    I was wonering what is our view or vision for South Augusta, Hephzibah and the oader community at large annd how they may differ from inside the ommunity and outside of the area ike Savannah.
  • by Steve Zema Location: Grovetown on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM
    I would like to know if any candidate would support cutting back on foreign aid to help balance the budget for the United States.
  • by Amanda Location: Waynesboro, GA on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
    our defense budget is huge!!!!! i mean really you could cut it a bit and not hurt our military
  • by Amanda Location: Waynesboro, Ga on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM
    Everyone wants to repel ACA however are they willing to works towards an alternate healthcare plan that is fair to all especially in way of not being discriminated against for a pre-existing condition.
  • by Arthur Location: Augusta on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
    I like hear on the debate. What are they going to do with the market or telemarket. Seem like the NO CALL List is not working. See if they going to close them or do way with them. So people don't have those market or telemarket keep them up.I want them to be close and do away them all together. Please pass this on in debate please.
  • by jean cliett Location: blythe, ga on Jul 18, 2012 at 03:23 PM
    Would you support an admentment that limits the time in congress and congress can not exempt themselves from any law they pass and eliminate the retirement and insurance plan and congress is covered by same insurance and retirement that any other federal employee has.
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