“I don’t think Surry County has done anything quite this large before,” said Mark Jones.
The Surry County Republican Party chair was speaking of the GOP candidate forum taking place Saturday at Temple Baptist Church on U.S. 601.
Republican candidates for U.S. and N.C. legislative seats, county commissioners, district and superior court judges, sheriff and clerk of court — 26 candidates in all — have confirmed they are attending the forum, according to Jones.
“All of the Republicans who filed are going to be there, except for three,” said Jones. “The filing period for judges doesn’t start until June, but six candidates who have announced their intent to run will be there.”
Two of the three candidates not attending are running unopposed in the Republican primary: Ricky Bowman, running for district attorney for District 23, and Philip Berger, running for N.C. Senate District 30. Cortland Meader, running for the U.S. House of Representatives District 5 seat now held by Virginia Foxx, also is not attending.
“We have so many candidates, we had to divide it up into groups,” said Jones.
The seven GOP candidates vying for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives District 5, N.C. Senate District 45, and N.C. House of Representative Districts 90 and 91 will be up first from 4 to 5:15 p.m.
The seven candidates for Surry County commissioners will follow at 5:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.
Six candidates for judge will be next from 7-8:15 p.m. and the final group of four candidates for sheriff and two for clerk of court will be up from 8:30-9:45 p.m.
The candidates will be asked a mix of prearranged questions developed by a committee of 12 people as well as questions from the audience.
“People can submit a question when they get there, or before each segment,” said Jones. “Those questions will be reviewed and compared to the pre-selected questions.”
“I hope folks will think of this as a family event. I view it as a learning opportunity for the public to learn about what offices are open and who is running. It’s a wonderful opportunity to participate in your government,” said Jones.
NC Legislative and U.S. House
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
NC Senate District 45 —Shirley Randleman and Deanna Ballard
NC Senate District 30 — (Phil Berger is unopposed and is not attending)
NC House of Rep. District 91 — Kyle Hall
NC House of Rep. District 90 — Sarah Stevens and Allen Poindexter
U.S. House of Rep. District 5 — Virginia Foxx and Dillon Gentry (Cortland Meader is not attending)
Surry County Commissioners
5:30p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Central District — Mark Marion, Dr. Gary Tilley, Tony Childs and Tony Tilley
Mount Airy District — Bill Goins and Larry Phillips
South District — Eddie Harris
Judges and District Attorney
7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
District Attorney District 23 — (Ricky Bowman, unopposed, is not attending)
District Court Judge District 17-B — Tom Langan, Gretchen Kirkman, Marion Boone and Spencer Key
Superior Court Judge District 17-B — Bill Southern and Andy Cromer
Sheriff and Clerk of Court
8:30p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
Surry County Sheriff — Jamie Goad, Vann Tate, Steve Hiatt and Ervin Odum
Surry County Clerk of Court — Neil Brendle and Teresa O’Dell
Surry County Republican Party’s Republican candidate forum will be Saturday, April 7, at Temple Baptist Church, 3615 Rockford St., Mount Airy, beginning at 4 p.m. The Party will sell food and drinks during and between events.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.