State Senate and House candidates will faceoff in debate moderated by Johns Creek students

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Student Leadership Johns Creek will host debates featuring candidates for Georgia state Senate and House seats later this month.

Three pairs of rival candidates will meet in a 6 p.m. debate held at Northview High School on Sept. 28.

Republican Shawn Still and Democrat Josh Uddin will faceoff on issues for the Senate District 48 seat.

Still is the target of a Fulton County criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Uddin also ran for Senate in 2020.

The seat is currently held by State Sen. Michelle Au, a Johns Creek Democrat, who is switching races due to redrawn maps for legislative districts.

State Rep. Mary Robichaux (D-Roswell) will debate Republican Scott Hilton, a former state representative for the House District 48 seat.

The debate will also feature Au, who is running in House District 50, and her opponent Republican Narender G. Reddy. Democratic state Rep. Angelika Kausche currently holds the seat and is not seeking reelection.

Student Leadership Johns Creek will hold a second debate at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 at Johns Creek High School.

That event will spotlight two races including the Fulton County Commission District 1 race with Democrat Maggie Goldman meeting Republican Bridget Thorne.

The District 1 seat is being vacated by Commissioner Liz Hausmann.

Hausman will appear that night too. The Republican is running for Senate District 14 and will debate opponent Josh McLaurin. The Democrat currently represents House District 51.

The debates will be completely run by the nine high schoolers of Student Leadership Johns Creek.

Irene Sanders, executive director of the organization, said 2022 is the fifth or sixth year that students have hosted political debates. Last fall students hosted Johns Creek City Council and Mayoral candidates in debates.

The 2023 debates are coordinated through the Secretary of State’s office.

Sanders said students will ask “meaty” questions on state and county issues such as gun control and school safety, the economy, the environment, secure elections and homelessness.

Sanders said the students are likely to have less focus on the issue of abortion rights and expect responses to fall along political party lines.

A different student moderator will pose questions for each seat.

“A lot of them are interested in a career in either politics or law,” Sanders said. “They’re very fair. They never want to ask a gotcha questions. (Issues) affect them just like they do you and me.”

Students participating are Alisha Kohli, Aria Smith, Brady Carnesale, Varsha Nirmal, Nicholas Stone, Shruthi Balachander, Lakshana Ramanan, Tiffany Obasohan and Neha Gurram.

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