The South Georgia Young Republicans, along with local GOP organizations, held a primary debate Tuesday night. The debate featured Ellis Black, John Page and Richard Raines, all looking to fill the seat of retiring District 8 State Senator Tim Golden.
"We wanted to give a chance for the candidates to actually explain their positions," said South Georgia Young Republicans President, Ben Smith.
"They go into a meeting and they give their stump speech, and they have 2 or 3 minutes or 5, maybe ten, and they give their prepared speech and it's over, they don't really have a chance to be asked questions about important issues and to be able to explain their positions on that," added Smith.
The candidates say they were happy to explain their views, to go beyond their prepared speeches and connect with the citizens.
"This is the closest we've come to actually having an interaction. I enjoyed it I think the questions were fair, I think all candidates across all races gave good responses," said Richard Raines.
"I appreciate the South Georgia's Young Republicans sponsoring this and giving the community and the candidates a chance to talk about the issues that are important to them," said John Page.
A few of the topics that were up for debate include economic development, taxation, education and the relevance of the Moody Air Force Base.
"What I would have preferred to do was go more into our backgrounds and our experiences that enable us to be effective," said Ellis Black.
All three candidates say they are in favor of creating more jobs in the area, and stressing the importance of Moody Air Force Base.
The debate also included county commission and board of education candidates, running in contested races.