Valdosta, GA - The November Election is right around the corner and Tuesday night Valdosta voters had a chance to meet their candidates.
15 candidates spoke at the forum who are running in races including the Sheriff's race, County Commission Chairman and State Representatives. They each had three minutes to state their case to the audience. All just one month before the General Election November 6th.
One state representative spot up for vote on November's ballot will have more ground to cover. District 175 is expanding west. 175 used to cover Valdosta and not much else. Now it will cover Western Lowndes County, all of Brooks County and most of Thomasville. That is to reflect changes in the population in the census. The new District 177 will take its place in Valdosta. That means no matter who wins it is all going to be new territory to them.
"The District definitely got bigger as far as area goes. But it is still the same number of people," said Incumbent Rep. Amy Carter (R). "And I feel that I'll be representing everyone equally just as I did before."
"I've walked throughout Thomasville, Brooks County and Lowndes County trying to educate folks on the issues," said challenger J.C. Cunningham (D). "I think that is one of the key components to this election."
Cunningham says he does not think Rep. Carter is doing enough for South Georgia.
"I'm concerned that we have more of a flavor of Atlanta than we do for South Georgia. We have not received our fair share of the economic pie that Atlanta and North Georgia has received," said Cunningham.
"I've had six years of service to the state already. I am a flood leader for the governor. And I built relationships with the leadership of the house," said Rep. Carter.
The new District lines will start in January during the General Assembly in the Georgia Capital.
A new District means new representatives. Vying for Valdosta's District 177 spot are Republican Glenn Gregory and Democrat Dexter Sharper. Both are running on the platform of working to bring in more jobs to Valdosta. They both are also saying they can work across the isle.
"I will represent Democrats and Republicans because that is what I'm all about," said Glenn Gregory (R). "I'm a home town boy. I've been in community service my whole life."
"I didn't wear a suit tonight just to let you know I'm a casual guy that's looking out for everybody," said Dexter Sharper (D). "It doesn't matter who you are. What color you are. I'm here to work with you."
Organizers of the forum hope doing it now will give voters enough time to make educated decisions before the General Election on November 6th.