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Sheriff Candidates to Square Off Monday in Debate

Election season in Forsyth County heats up again Monday with a debate between the candidates for sheriff.

Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton, Duane Piper, a 25-year veteran law enforcement professional, and Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald will square off for their first debate.

Hosted by the Forsyth County Tea Party (FCTP), the event is slated to run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19 at the , 595 Dahlonega Street, Cumming. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Joe McArthur, a local resident and volunteer with the Tea Party, will moderate Monday’s debate.

"He's just a citizen," said Steve Voshall, chairman of the FCTP. "He's not working on any campaigns or working for anyone or anything. He has no dog in this fight."

The evening will begin with five-minute opening statements by each candidate and three-minute closing statements, according to Voshall.

People in the audience will have an opportunity to submit written questions on 4X7 index cards that will be handed out for the candidates to answer.

"We'll screen those questions to make sure there's no overlapping questions and no crazy questions in there," said Voshall. "And then each candidate will have two minutes to answer the question."

If a candidate answers his question before the two minutes are up, Voshall said he could choose to use the remaining time to challenge a fellow candidate's answer on another question. He can also use the extra time to answer another question that was asked to a fellow candidate.

Paxton, Piper and McDonald are each allowed up to 10 supporters during the debate, but that each candidate is on his own when answering the questions. They are not allowed to defer to those supporters or campaign managers for assistance or help in answering the questions.

Voshall expects a standing-room-only crowd for the upcoming debate.

Read more about the candidates below:

Sheriff Ted Paxton

The Tea Party will host a debate in April for candidates running for seats on the Board of Commissioners and in May among the candidates for the state House of Representatives.

The general primary is set for July 31.

SOGTP March 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
This picture of Sheriff Paxton is not very flattering.
Liz Kennedy (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 06:43 PM
We have updated Sheriff's Paxton headshot. Liz Kennedy, Editor
SOGTP March 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Let's keep our eye on the ball folks. First let's understand exactly what the Sheriff is and the responsibilities it carries. The elected Sheriff was brought over by the English in the very early days of the colonies. Remember the Sheriff of Nottingham trying to catch Robin Hood? Now since the Sheriff is elected he/she is the highest Constitutional law enforcement officer in the land with standing to sue the federal gub'mint. The number 1 job of the Sheriff is to protect your constitutional rights. The number 2 job is defined in Georgia Code; 1. Law enforcement, 2. Courts, and 3. Jail kinda stuff.
SOGTP March 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Let's get more into this Constitutional law enforcement officer thing. In 1997 two Sheriff's; 1) Richard Prinz of Ravalli County Montana and 2) Sheriff Mack of Graham County Arizona sued the federal gub'mint over the Brady Hand Gun Bill, specifically the provision that commanded state and local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers and to perform certain related tasks, violate the Constitution. Clearly unconstitutional legislation and they won. These men beat Bill Clinton in the Supreme Court. These are the types of things you should measure these men against. Ask yourself is the man I am about to vote for educated enough to understand what he can do legally? Does he care about our liberties and freedom? I could care less about babies out of wedlock that's been happening since God created men and women. Who cares about unsubstantiated rumors or girlfriends? I mean really what does an affair have to do with the moxey and intestinal fortitude to protect the Constitution, your freedoms and liberties that are enshrined in that document. Read the case hear its short and absolutely fascinating. They won on a 10th Amendment States Rights argument. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/95-1478.ZO.html
SOGTP March 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Phew ... much better. lols.

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