Candidates for local elected office will come face to face with men and women on a mission from God this week — and the public is invited to watch.
The Coalition of Clayton County Clergy is slated to hold a series of two candidate forums this week at Clayton State University’s main campus in Morrow. The group is made up of three ministerial groups — the Association of Christian Ministers of Clayton County, the Clayton County Ministers’ Conference and the Forest Park Ministers Association.
This is the first time the three ministers groups have come together to host a joint candidates forum, said Leon Beeler, the chief executive officer of the Forest Park Ministers Association.
“We felt that if we unified our efforts, we could reach a greater audience than we would if we each did forums on our own,” Beeler said. “We’d have candidates speak to us at our churches in the past, but this gives us a chance to bring all of our congregates together in one setting to hear what all of the candidates have to say.”
The forums are being broken up into two sessions to prevent an information overload for voters.
The first forum is slated to take place Thursday, from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., in Room U272 of the James M. Baker University Center. It is scheduled to include candidates for sheriff, district attorney, Clayton County Commission chairman, and county commission districts 2 and 3.
The second forum is on the calendar for Friday, from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., in Room B14 of the school’s Lecture Hall. This forum is scheduled to include candidates for U.S. Congress District 5, State Senate District 44 and State Representative districts 60, 63, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78.
The president of the Clayton County Ministers’ Conference, Rev. Mike Glanton, is also a candidate for State Representative District 75. He is running against incumbent State Rep. Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro).
Beeler said each candidate will be given one minute for an introduction before being asked a series of three issue-oriented questions. The questions will be tailored to fit the office being sought.
“Clayton State students will then ask one question of each [candidates] panel,” he added. Beeler also said the questions are not to be used as an attack on a particular candidate.
The panels of candidates will come forward to be asked questions in alphabetical order of the office being sought.
Beeler said that “about 75 percent” of the candidates seeking the offices included in the forums have already RSVP’d to confirm their attendance. He added the coalition is still receiving RSVP’s from candidates and expects to receive several more commitments from elected office seekers before Thursday.
Those interested can call (404) 207-3817 for additional information about the forums.