COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Candidates hoping to be the next mayor of Columbus gathered for a forum to meet those in the community.
A non-partisan forum was hosted by the Muscogee County Republican Party Tuesday. Those who attended say the forum is something that's needed to help voters better understand and build relationships with each candidate before making a selection.
"Since this is a non-partisan race, we don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican or Independent. That's not the issue. The issue is that we need to elect a good mayor," says Muscogee Republican Chairman Alton Russell.
The five candidates were given five minutes to explain why they feel they are the best candidate for the mayoral position before having one-on-one interactions with those in attendance. Each candidate spoke on unifying Columbus by addressing crime rates, poverty, and budgeting.
Organizers say this forum helps to give an early, in-depth look at the candidates by allowing them to discuss their platform and answer questions from those in the community.
"The voters need to be able to meet every candidate on a personal basis and that's our goal."
"People know what they want, so the candidates have to explain their agenda to see if it will fit in with them," says attendee, Gwen Walker.
The following candidates were in attendance:
- Danny Arencibia
- Zeph Baker
- Beth Harris
- Skip Henderson
- Charles Roberts
- Winfred Shipman Jr.
Early bird voting for the mayoral election is in late April. Election day is expected to be late May.