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The Local Agenda: 9th District debate set for next week
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Gainesville will play host to a political debate Oct. 16 between Republican Doug Collins and Democrat Jody Cooley, both of Gainesville, who are seeking to represent the 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Lanier Tea Party Patriots is sponsoring the event, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Gainesville Civic Center.

“This is an open seat, with no incumbent,” said Cooley. “Voters deserve a chance to get to know the candidates for such an important office. This is an opportunity to talk directly to voters so that they will be more informed on Nov. 6.”

The event will be moderated by Joel Williams of WDUN.

“Continuing down the path of President Obama’s lackluster economic policies — a failed stimulus package and Obamacare to name a few — is not the way to get our country back on track,” said Loree Anne Thompson, Collins’ press secretary. “Reducing our debt, cutting taxes and making government smaller and more efficient are the North Georgia values Doug Collins believes in, and that’s exactly what the voters will hear from him next week at the Gainesville Civic Center.”

The event is one of three debates scheduled for this month between the two men. They face off on the ballot Nov. 6.

A debate will be held at 5:30 p.m. today at The Northeast Georgian in Cornelia. Another event will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios in Atlanta.

Collins, a former state representative, beat out Republican contenders Martha Zoller and Roger Fitzpatrick to win the nomination during the July primary. Cooley has been the only Democrat in the race.

The seat in the 9th District represents a new district for Georgia, which was awarded based on population. The new 9th District covers much of Northeast Georgia, with its population base in Hall and Forsyth counties. Rep. Tom Graves is campaigning for what is now the 14th District, located in Northwest Georgia.

Pedestrian bridge official opening set for Oct. 16

Gainesville’s pedestrian bridge has been open to the public for weeks, but the official christening ceremony will be held next week.

The bridge, which connects Gainesville’s downtown with its midtown, was completed at the end of August after taking more than a year to finish following a delay after the Georgia Department of Transportation issued new rules on how railing must be constructed on such a project.

City officials said the bridge will act as a cornerstone to rehabilitate the city’s midtown area in the coming years.

The event will be 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

Gainesville City Council cancels work session

Gainesville City Council has canceled its work session that was set for Thursday. The next scheduled meeting is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the municipal courtroom at the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville.

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