No clear winner in 10th District debate

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

May 16, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The candidates for Georgia's 10th District were in the hot seat tonight answering questions on important issues for Georgia voters.

Some who came to watch the debate say it was hard to distinguish the differences among the candidates and what they stand for.

Healthcare, immigration and the war in Iraq were all hot topics at the debate.

Ten candidates are vying for the late Charlie Norwood's 10th Congressional District seat. Some supporters already have their minds made up, while others attended the debate to decide.

"That's one thing I really feel strongly about Jim (Whitehead)," said one Whitehead supporter, Mr. Dozier. "He's very ethical. He'll do the right thing. He does what he says he's gong to do."

"I was interested in seeing what their views are on women's issues such as family planning and birth control access, so I really want to get a good feel for how they really feel," said voter Kristin Wright.

Michael McCullen is one of the debate organizers. He says the debate almost didn't happen.

"We had asked when the first debate was going to take place, and we were told there wasn't going to be one," McCullen said.

He and others felt it necessary for the voters to hear what the candidates are all about.

"We thought it would be a disservice to the community if they didn't have an opportunity to hear all of the candidates, and we're just glad that we got this rolling," he said. "All of them agreed to come to the forum."

With a little over a month left in the race, candidates worked hard to leave a lasting impression with their words.

"There are a lot of problems we need to solve, but we've got to seal the borders first," said Paul Broun.

"To be fair, everyone should go through the same long process to become an American citizen," said Evita Paschall.

"If we secure the border now, and resolve our illegal immigration problem, we will start solving our healthcare crisis," said Bill Greene.

"Healthcare, if you take the government out, you have lower healthcare cost," said Erik Underwood.

"First of all, we should honor Congressman Norwood by passing the Patient's Bill of Rights," said James Marlow.

"I think when it comes to social security we do have a problem, and one reason is we have failed to hold those in charge of our money responsible," said Denise Freeman.

"Whether we should have gone in there (to Iraq) or not, it's irrelevant now," said Nate Pulliam. "We are there. We absolutely have to win it."

"We send a mixed message," said Mark Myers. "It damages the moral of the troops."

"Those who are saying let's pull out, let's pull the American flag down, that's demoralization, and in that sense the terrorist are winning the war," said Jim Sendelbach.

"We need to have a strategy that we move our military out of Iraq as soon as possible, but only if we can leave Iraq with a democratic process," said Jim Whitehead.

If you missed the debate you can still get information on the candidates. Many of them have websites; see below.

All citizens residing in the 10th Congressional District who wish to vote in the special election can register to vote through May 21.

The election is nonpartisan, but candidates' party affiliations will be listed at the polls.

Candidate Websites

Paul Broun (Republican)

Denise Freeman (Democrat)

Bill Greene (Republican)

James Marlow (Democrat)

Mark Myers (Republican)

Nate Pulliam (Republican)

Jim Sendelbach (Libertarian)

Erik M. Underwood (Republican)

Jim Whitehead (Republican)

Evita Paschall (Democrat) does not have a website.

You can also contact the Secretary of State's office for more information on candidates. That number is 404-656-4269.

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