Candidates sound off in last gubernatorial debates

Handel, Barnes under scrutiny as front-runners

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ATLANTA --- Candidates who have been attacking one another through the final weeks of the primary threw few jabs during their last gubernatorial debates Sunday night.

Gubernatorial candidates (from left to right) Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, Bill Bolton, Carl Camon, Randal Mangham, DuBose Porter and David Poythress debate in Atlanta on Sunday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Gubernatorial candidates (from left to right) Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, Bill Bolton, Carl Camon, Randal Mangham, DuBose Porter and David Poythress debate in Atlanta on Sunday.

The Democrats concentrated on education and passenger rail service as their top priorities. The Republicans offered various tax cuts and vowed to trim government spending.

The separate debates were sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club and broadcast statewide by Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The Democratic debate included all seven candidates, Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, Bill Bolton, Carl Camon, Randal Mangham, DuBose Porter and David Poythress. Of the Republicans, Jeff Chapman, Nathan Deal, Eric Johnson, Ray McBerry and John Oxendine attended, but front-runner Karen Handel and long-shot Otis Putnam opted not to attend.

Although Handel was represented by an empty lectern, she was clearly on the minds of her GOP opponents. When candidates had the chance to question each other, Oxendine teed one up for Deal.

"Mr. Congressman, why do you think Karen Handel is unfit to be the next governor of the state of Georgia?" Oxendine asked.

"I believe it's important for the Republican Party to nominate someone ... who will actually show up at televised debates such as this," Deal said.

Early in the primary season, Handel stopped attending debates to which McBerry was invited, refusing to share a stage with him because of accusations that he molested a teenage girl who attended his church. He again denied the charges during the debate.

The Republicans who did attend also attacked her for favoring exceptions to her anti-abortion stance in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother. None would commit to supporting the eventual nominee until they knew the winner was what several called "a true conservative."

The Democrats aimed their questions at front-runner Barnes.

Baker said that 20 years ago as a gubernatorial candidate, Barnes proposed $4 billion in new programs without offering specific funding sources and $2 billion in promises this year.

"First, you said you'd find the money by raising various sales taxes. Then you excluded almost all of them one by one," Baker said.

Barnes said he'll use his experience from his one term as governor to balance the budget while living up to his promises.

"The reason I can do it is because I have done it before," he said.

Vote Tuesday

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday for Georgia's Democratic and Republican primaries. Registered voters must present identification.

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justus4
130
Points
justus4 07/19/10 - 04:07 am
0
0
What? Candidate won't appear
Unpublished

What? Candidate won't appear with a guy because she thinks he "molested" a teen churchgoer. What kinda politics is this? Where is the police investigation and what was the conclusion? Without answers, the entire party will suffer. McBerry will drag the entire bunch down and rightfully so, because no one really trust politicians anyway, but to have that kinda stuff hanging around is sinking to a new low.

southernguy08
580
Points
southernguy08 07/19/10 - 05:44 am
0
0
Talk about a pack of losers,
Unpublished

Talk about a pack of losers, this bunch couldn't find warts on a frog!

Troy Infantoy
0
Points
Troy Infantoy 07/19/10 - 05:46 am
0
0
Did you perhaps mean "on a

Did you perhaps mean "on a toad"?

southernguy08
580
Points
southernguy08 07/19/10 - 06:25 am
0
0
Sorry TROY...big difference!
Unpublished

Sorry TROY...big difference!

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 07/19/10 - 06:57 am
0
0
Deal will say anything to get

Deal will say anything to get elected, just remember along with Maxine Waters & Jesse Jackson, Jr. he was selected as 1 of the 15 most corrupt in Washington and that is really saying something about his character.

**Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA)**
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 07/19/10 - 07:28 am
0
0
And again Karen Handel

And again Karen Handel refuses to debate. What arrogance and disdain for the public.
And I agree with the other comments. How is it we always end up with such a sad group of candidates? It's bad, but McBerry is probably the best among them.

Little Lamb
57505
Points
Little Lamb 07/19/10 - 08:10 am
0
0
Neither is Karen Handel

Neither is Karen Handel arrogant nor does she disdain the public. She took a principled stand regarding Ray McBerry and she is keeping her pledge.

Besides, these "debates" are nothing more than beauty contests. There is nothing of substance coming out of these debates. Karen Handel is doing well by not participating in these meat markets.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 07/19/10 - 01:53 pm
0
0
If I get another election

If I get another election phone call I'm going to SCREAM! I'm at about 20 for the day and it's not even 2pm.

Fuzzy
0
Points
Fuzzy 07/19/10 - 02:53 pm
0
0
Karen Handel is disgusting -

Karen Handel is disgusting - How is she a leader in a race where she won't even show up for a debate? She trying to ride on Palin's Endorcement? Women might retaliate and NOT vote for Handel if she can't show up and discuss important state issues and what she would do if she were Governor.

Maybe Handel's voters will mimick their leader - Maybe they won't show up to vote!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 07/19/10 - 03:05 pm
0
0
Fuzzy, you are right. This

Fuzzy, you are right. This may cost her the nomination. Won't hurt my feelings, I wasn't going to vote for her anyway.

ohhsweetconcord
3
Points
ohhsweetconcord 07/19/10 - 03:32 pm
0
0
"The Republicans who did

"The Republicans who did attend also attacked her for favoring exceptions to her anti-abortion stance in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother."

So, that makes her the only sane Republican candidate...right?

Fiat_Lux
20473
Points
Fiat_Lux 07/19/10 - 06:23 pm
0
0
Eric Johnson is the best

Eric Johnson is the best candidate by far in this race.

Is there any way to get a sample ballot of all the races CSRA voters might see tomorrow?

Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 07/20/10 - 07:31 am
0
0
There is less quality to

There is less quality to chose from than the 2008 presidential election. It's hard to believe that in a country this large we cannot find qualified, professional, energetic candidates.

docroc
79
Points
docroc 07/20/10 - 09:27 am
0
0
Ray McBerry is the only one

Ray McBerry is the only one running on either platform that will stand up to big government. He will elliminate income AND property taxes with a consumption tax. He will protect your right to keep your gun in an emergency – not like Katrina when guns were taken for public safety. He will protect the rights of unborn innocent children from being sucked into a tube. If you like freedom you’ll like Ray McBerry

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