MONTEZUMA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The Macon County Chapter of the NAACP hosted a political forum tonight in Montezuma, allowing local citizens to get to know the candidates they'll be voting for on July 31st.
Candidates for county commission, coroner, probate judge, sheriff, and state representative answered questions ranging from how to create jobs to how they would handle a large-scale disaster in the area.
Matthew Woodard and Grover Mickey Barfield, who are both in a battle for Macon County Sheriff against incumbent Charles Cannon, each explained why they felt they had what it takes to steal away Cannon's seat as sheriff.
"I'm young," says Woodard. "I'm self-motivated, and I have a strong reason to make a change here in Macon County. By having four small children, I understand what they're going through and I think that's one of the areas that we need to concentrate on is our youth."
"I think that I'd be the best candidate because I care about our community," says Barfield. "I was born and raised here and feel that I can exceed in the job itself."
In another interesting race, the newly re-apportioned state house district 139 will have a new representative for the first time in more than two decades because of Lynmore James's retirement.
Patty Bentley, Michael Dinkins, and Tom Coogle are all vying for that seat. Coogle says voters should pay close attention to this race as the election draws near.
"We're at a pivotal moment in the history of Georgia," says Coogle. "What's going on in Savannah Port area (dredging) is very important--very important to Middle Georgia specifically, and I think that if we have business-minded candidates in office at that time, we'll do quite well and see significant job growth. I think if we do not, then we'll fail."
Primary elections are now just a little over a month away. Polls will be open on July 31st, and early voting begins on July 9th.