COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Candidates in two local races answered questions about their platform during a virtual political forum Wednesday.
District Attorney and incumbent, Julia Slater, was scheduled to face off against her opponent Mark Jones, but he did not participate after turning himself in to authorities earlier in the day for charges related to a campaign video.
Slater tackled questions about ways to help public safety fight crimes, especially youth violence, and the importance of hiring a diverse workforce in the DA’s office.
“Because I have had thoughtful hiring practices, my hiring practices are very similar to the composition of our community," Slater said. “And I try to be very thoughtful about the way I hire, getting someone who is best for the job. And when I do that, I end with a racially diverse office. So, I am going to continue best practices.”
Elaine Gillespie, candidate for Columbus City Council District 4, also participated in the forum. She’s a former firefighter and former field representative to Congressman Sandford Bishop.
“I’ve lived here for 16 years,” said Gillespie. “I have a passion for this area, I’ve gone to the churches as a field representative for Congressman Bishop, I’ve just about visited every church in this community, and I know the people. I can walk with them, I can talk with them. This is my heart.”
Toyia Tucker is also vying for the District 4 seat. She did not participate in the forum.