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Newspaper candidate forum tonight
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Dawson County residents are invited to attend The Peoples Forum from 6 to 7 this evening at Peach Brandy Cottage in downtown Dawsonville.

Three candidates are running for an open District-1 county commission seat currently held by Gary Pichon, who is not seeking re-election. The primary election takes place May 20.

The forum is hosted by the Dawson News & Advertiser.

We want to provide voters with one last opportunity to look candidates directly in the eye and get their questions answered, Kimberly Boim, publisher of the newspaper, said. Voters will be deciding on the future of Dawson County, and its important enough for us to stop what were doing and pay attention.

The format for The Peoples Forum is different. Candidates Kevin Ellison, Corey Gutherie and Sharon Fausett have agreed to stand atop large tree stumps and address the voters directly.

Candidates will be given a one-minute introduction and time for a two-minute closing statement. In between, voters may ask candidates questions directly.

Dawson County has 12,865 active, registered voters, according to election officials.

To date, weve had 524 people vote early and 43 paper ballots returned, Glenda Ferguson, chair of the Dawson County Board of Elections, said yesterday. Its a good average for us, but its a small percentage of people registered to vote. Its hard to tell if thats a key indicator if were going to be slammed on election day or if theres not a lot of interest. I thought we would be busier.

Early voting continues through May 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.See sample ballots on page 4B of todays newspaper.