Teens prepare to grill candidates

Clayton County teenagers are poised to put candidates on the hot seat at a public forum in Forest Park.

Forest Park Teen Council will host a political forum Tuesday night at City Hall and expects candidates seeking state and local offices to participate.

Forest Park Mayor Pro Tem Sparkle Adams said confirmations have trickled in from a handful of candidates. The forum will be moderated by voting-age members of the Teen Council.

“Come and support the Teen Council as they ask the candidates the hard questions,” said Adams.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson, seeking a second term, said Monday she will be there. Former one-term Clayton County Solicitor General Leslie Miller Terry is Lawson’s only opponent and is expected to participate in the forum. Terry lost her bid for a second term in 2008 to Tasha Mosley. Mosley is running unopposed.

There are eight candidates running for sheriff of Clayton County. Incumbent Kem Kimbrough is expected at Tuesday’s forum. Kimbrough, an attorney, is seeking his second term.

It is unclear how many of Kimbrough’s seven opponents will also attend. Jon Antoine, Tina Daniel, Lawrence Ethridge, Victor Hill, Godreque “Dreq” Newsome, Ricky Redding and Rica Wright had not confirmed as of 7 p.m. Monday.

Candidates for the Clayton County Commission District 2 race are expected, said Adams. Thomas Edward Houston III and Lisa Tinch are each hoping to unseat incumbent Gail Hambrick. Forest Park sits inside District 2.

Forest Park is also represented by U.S. Congressional District 5 and Georgia House districts 60 and 76. U.S. Congressman John Lewis is running for re-election against challengers Democrat Michael Johnson and Republican Howard Stopeck, both of Atlanta.

In District 60, incumbent Keisha Waites is shooting for her first four-year term against opponents Gary “Pee-Wee” Davis of Atlanta, William Fisher of College Park, Antonio Lewis of Atlanta and LaTrenka R. Riley of Atlanta.

Waites took office in a special election within the last year.

District 76 incumbent Sandra Scott is being challenged by Jeffrey Benoit and Kim Cox Owens, both Democrats from Rex.

“I have confirmations from some of those candidates but I’m not sure who else might be coming,” said Adams.

The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.