With three weeks left before Democratic voters head to the polls to pick a nominee to face off against Republican Saxby Chambliss in November, the five candidates running in the July 15th Democratic primary participated in a 60-minute debate sponsored by Fox 5 Atlanta (WAGA-TV).
The debate touched on a variety issues from money in politics to troop withdrawal out of Iraq. And while there was a lot of agreement among the five Democrats on stage, there were also some disagreements as well.
Former U.S. Senate staffer Josh Lanier took on Jim Martin asking if the Democrats’ 2006 Lt. Governor nominee should lead by example and stop accepting money from political action committees and special interest groups. Martin, in response, seemed to suggest that he would not refuse money from high dollar contributors.
“I play by the rules that all candidates play by…rules that Saxby Chambliss plays by,” Martin said.
Lanier’s question came after Martin said he had spent his career standing up to the special interests.
Rand Knight had his environmental credentials questioned by DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones after Knight implied that Jones had done little to preserve the environment in DeKalb County.
[Rand Knight] has talked the talk but not walked the walk,” Jones said. “You call yourself ‘Mr. Environment’…you have not preserved land,” Jones retorted to the political newcomer.
Jones went on to tout his environmental record as chief executive office of DeKalb County saying the county was working with Georgia Natural Gas to capture methane gas from landfills. He also said that he has a track record of investing in renewable energy and that he worked with people of Dekalb to give rebates for those who installed low flowing toilets in their homes and businesses.
Dale Cardwell, running on his record as an investigative journalist for WSB-TV, asked voters if they trusted him.
“I have worked very very hard to tell you the truth,” Cardwell said. For twenty-three years, you have trusted me to tell you the truth. I have been all over this state and [people are saying they would like] one chance to vote for an honest person. I’m that candidate,” Cardwell continued.
On the subject of same-sex marriages, Vernon Jones, Dale Cardwell and Jim Martin were all in agreement. They all were against gays and lesbians having the right to marry. Only two candidates publicly said they were for same-sex marriages; Rand Knight and Josh Lanier.
The Democratic U.S. Senate debate was moderated by Amanda Davis with questions from Morse Diggs and Paul Yates all of Fox 5 news.