The Southern Greenville County Community Watch (SGCCW) will hold a Sheriff’s Candidates Debate on Jan. 2 at 7 pm at the Cowboy Church in Ware Place. The church is located at 9530 Augusta Rd., Pelzer.
Candidates Hall, Lewis, Smith, Whatley and Zukowsky have agreed to participate. Candidate Guy was invited but did not respond.
Organizer Durant Ashmore said the Cowboy Church debate will be very different from the one held recently in Simpsonville. “Many of the answers given at that time illustrated the agreements the candidates had on the various issues. This debate will focus on the differences,” Ashmore said.
“We have also made arrangements for this debate to be live streamed, and we hope that as many of you as possible will do so. For the security of our members, the cameras will be up front and focused on the candidates with the audience in the back. I will be asking the questions off camera.”
Ashmore said he plans to ask 25 questions, with a single candidate answering a single question before moving on to the next. The candidates will be given 60 seconds to answer. After a round of five questions, each candidate will then be given a sixty second response to any point raised by any candidate which they are in disagreement with. The series of questions and responses will be given until all questions are asked and answered.
Ashmore said the questions will focus on the most important aspects of the role of the sheriff in Greenville County, and they will be provided to the candidates several days in advance so they can prepare their answers. Matters such as law enforcement practices, finances, recruitment, allocation of resources and morale will be addressed. “I am in the process of gathering questions from the community, current GCSO members (unidentified) and elected officials. I seek questions from the press,” Ashmore said.