From staff reports
The Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute plans to sponsor a political forum on campus Saturday.
The event, which is open to the public, will feature Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, North Georgia posts in the U.S. House of Representatives and seats in the Georgia General Assembly.
Also, surrogates for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic president candidate Barack Obama and candidates for the Georgia Public Service Commission have been invited.
The event is set for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Thurmond McRae Auditorium next to the Brenau Trustee Library on Academy Street.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
Here is the tentative lineup for the political forum:
9 a.m.: Presidential campaign surrogates.
9:30: U.S. Senate candidates Jim Martin, a Democrat, and Libertarian Allen Buckley. Incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss has not indicated whether he will appear.
10: Republican Doug Everett and Libertarian John Monds, candidates in one of two Georgia PSC races.
10:30: Democratic 6th District Congressional District candidate Bill Jones. Incumbent Republican Tom Price has indicated he wouldn’t attend but could send a surrogate.
11: Doug Heckman, the Democratic challenger in the 7th Congressional District. There is no word yet from incumbent Republican John Linder.
11:30: 9th Congressional District candidate Jeff Scott, a Democrat. Incumbent Republican Nathan Deal has not confirmed.
Noon: Bobby Saxon, the Democratic challenger in the 8th Congressional District. Incumbent Republican Paul Broun declined to appear or send a surrogate.
The program is scheduled to end following the 12:30 p.m. presentations by candidates for the State House District 25 post. Incumbent James Mills, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Chris Strickland have said they will attend.
"This is the first time BULLI has undertaken anything of this magnitude with such a wide range of candidates and surrogates involved," said Kathy Amos, director of the university’s noncredit adult learning program.
"So far, we have had great response from Democratic candidates, but now that the Republican National Convention is behind us, we are getting interest from the GOP candidates as well."
Martha Zoller, talk-show host on WDUN-AM, will moderate the program.
Amos said the event will serve as less of a debate and more of an "opportunity for people in this region to meet and get to know candidates that they might not otherwise encounter.
"It is also a chance for more people in the area to learn more about BULLI and the quality of adult learning programs it has put on for more than 15 years," Amos said.
BULLI’s fall term is set for Sept. 29-Nov. 14.