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Upcoming Candidate Forums, Commission Endorsements and More Local News

District 5 commission candidate Matt Pulver.

Still haven’t made up your mind who to vote for in mayor and commission races? At least two more forums will be held over the next week.

The first, at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, is scheduled for 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 26. Mount Pleasant is a Black church located at 1931 Old West Broad St. that regularly hosts local candidate forums. It will feature candidates for both mayor and commission.

The second, in the lab at downtown movie theater Ciné, is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Monday, May 2. Journalists from Flagpole, the Red & Black and the Athens Banner-Herald will question mayoral candidates.

If that’s not enough, Tim Denson, chair of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee and a member of the GA-10 Progressive Coalition, announced a May Day (Sunday, May 1) political rally on College Square from 1–4 p.m. The GA10 Voter Empowerment Festival is billed as “a celebration of progressive values, including expanding health care, living wages, workers rights and environmental justice,” with more than 30 candidates from across the 10th Congressional District expected to attend. The street festival will feature stump speeches, meet-and-greets, voter information booths and live music from Parker (aka Linqua Franqa), Squalle and Joe Willey.

In addition, two commission candidates recently rolled out slates of endorsements.

Matt Pulver, running in District 5, announced endorsements from state Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) and progressive commissioners Mariah Parker, Melissa Link and Jesse Houle.

“Matt possesses the progressive values that Athens voters want and is a great Democratic candidate to stand up to the Republican gerrymandering of our commission districts,” Frye said in a news release.

Pulver, as many readers will recall, is only running because Republican state legislators drew Denson, the incumbent commissioner, out of District 5.

District 7 candidate Allen Jones has also been endorsed by Frye, as well as Mayor Kelly Girtz, Commissioner Carol Myers, lawyer and local civil rights leader Ken Dious, the LGBTQ group Georgia Equality and former mayors Gwen O’Looney and Heidi Davison, progressives who held the office from 1991–1998 and 2003–2010, respectively.

Early voting for the May 24 election starts Monday, May 2 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Board of Elections office, 155 E. Washington St., next door to City Hall. Remember, in addition to party primaries, nonpartisan local races for mayor, commission and school board will be decided in May or in a June runoff. They will not be on the ballot in November.