Muscogee Co. School Board candidates forum gets heated

District 7 School Board races gets heated

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With no scheduled candidates forum following the runoff election, the NAACP took it upon themselves to give the candidates one last chance to have their voices heard.

Tonza Thomas, the President of the Columbus branch of the NAACP, was happy to give the candidates one more chance to share their ideas and the people of Muscogee County one last chance to hear from their candidates.

"While we have all kinds of issues going on in our city as well as our country, we need to talk to our legislatures, we need to talk to our school board members. We need to know what position they are running on before we even elect them. So that is why it is important," said Thomas.  

Following the May 24 primaries there were two school board positions left to be voted on in this runoff election.

At Tuesday night's forum the focus was on the race in District 7 because both candidates were present the hostility between them.

Shelia Williams brought up a newspaper cartoon some consider racist depicted in The Courier and linked her opponent, Cathy Williams, to the publication, in part because of the money in advertising she spends with them.

"It sets the climate for what is happening in our schools right now. There is racial tension all over the country, and the data that we received today on the out of school suspension shows that is true," said Shelia Williams.

"The opposition has opted to take a very negative role in the way they run," responded her opponent Cathy Williams. "I have never participated in a negative campaign and I never will so I am not going to start now."

On the other side of the table, Pat Hugely-Green was the only candidate present from District 1.  Participating in this forum without her opponent, Joann Thomas-Brown, did not change her approach.

"Not at all, I think the voters want to hear from the candidates individually. I am happy to speak to them about the issues. I'm happy to express that my record is proven, this is my fouth term on the board and we have experienced a lot of successes in District 1," said Hugely-Green. 

The election will be held July 26.  We will have those elections results on that Tuesday.

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