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County Judge Candidates face off in Grassroots America debate

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SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - As the march primary nears, Smith County Judge Candidates want to make sure their voices are heard. A debate organized by grassroots America allowed them to do just that.

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey shares some of the key points in the debate. The Smith County Judge Candidates are facing off, in a public debate.

Laura Perryman, was one of the dozens in the audience watching it all go down.

"I though it was a good debate and a good opportunity to hear both sides," she said.

The sides: Incumbent County Judge Joel Baker, "I am proud of the seven year record I have, and I'll  continue to do that when I'm re-elected," and county judge challenger Major General John Furlow.

"What we're talking about today is the future the need  for a strategic leader to move us to the future," Furlow said.

The two republican candidates met in front of a packed audience at the Lakeview Church of the Nazarene in Smith County to debate key issues ranging from road improvement and county debt to leadership accountability.

"If it's such a transparent put it on the agenda that you deal with in commissioners court put it on the agenda," said Furlow addressing his concerns with Bakers leadership transparency.

In response to the accusation, Baker, in standard debate defense, refuted it.

"Everything we do in court is online for anyone to access," Baker said.

An aspect of the debate, both candidates agreed on, was the need to keep the public involved in county judge decisions, and votes.

Baker said, "I listen to people in the community cause I'm a  representative for them."

Furlow said, "You'll never doubt the direction smith county is going,  there will be a plan in place where people can weigh in  and put their input on."

One of the final issues up for debate is the state of county roads.Each candidate holding to the idea, that improvements do need to be made.The clash is how, and when improvements will be done.


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