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Debate between sheriff's candidates set for Thursday
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Citizens have a chance to hear from the men vying to be Dawson County's next sheriff during a candidates forum at the Dawson County Library Thursday evening.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the library on Allen Street in downtown Dawsonville.

Originally planned for Nov. 12 at McKee's Chapel, the debate was postponed after a possible complaint was mentioned in regards to holding the event at a church.

Management offered organizers the library's community room for the debate, which will be first meet-up of the political season for candidates vying to be Dawson County's next sheriff.

Retired lawman and organizer Mickey Gilbertson organized the event and will serve as moderator.

He said the forum will give voters an opportunity to learn about the four candidates that have announced their intentions to seek the office currently held by five-term Sheriff Billy Carlisle, who will not seek reelection.

Those running are: Maj. Jeff Johnson, commander of the Dawson County Jail; Jeff Perry, retired chief parole officer for the state of Georgia; Frank Sosebee, chief of security for the Hall County Correctional Institution; and Capt. Tony Wooten, Dawson County Sheriff's public information officer and community policing program supervisor.

All four are running as republicans.

"Our next sheriff will be one of these four men. Let's not wait until the last minute to meet the candidates," he said. Gilbertson said each candidate will have two minutes to introduce themselves and speak briefly about their campaigns, followed by questions generated by those in attendance.

Gilbertson said candidates will be given one minute to respond to questions.
"[This] is your chance to meet the candidates, ask questions and listen to what they have to say about their work experience, education, politics," he said. "Questions will be fielded directly from the voting public of Dawsonville."

Candidates will also have an additional two minutes after the question and answer session to make a closing statement.
Qualifying for the sheriff's race will be held March 7-11, with the primary election set for May 24. In the event there is a runoff, that election will be held July 26.

If no democrats seek the office, the primary winner would be the new sheriff and would take office Jan. 1, 2017.