Democratic Party Holds Candidate Forum - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/9/06-Tyler

Democratic Party Holds Candidate Forum

The primary election is less than a month away. Tonight, East Texans got a chance to hear from both sides.

More than 15 candidates got up and spoke at tonight's Democratic Party Candidate Forum. Many of them traveled across the state to be there. One local race, the Smith County Justice of the Peace, has two candidates.

"I love these kids in Smith County, and I love my job," said Quincy Beavers, Jr..., Incumbent Democratic Candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 1. "I'm going to continue to have tough love and fair justice in Smith County."

"The numbers are clearly down in the Justice of the Peace courtroom," said Derrick Choice, Democratic Candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 1. "The number of truancy hearings are down. The number of civil trials, criminal all of those numbers are down and I simply want to bring those numbers back up by being available to the public."

  In Smith County's Commissioners courtroom, Thursday night, a standing room only crowd was assembled to hear from the Republican candidates for state representative. The Sixth District. Candidates addressed the crowd with opening statements; and then fielded questions on topics such as border control, school reform, and the state budget.

Representative Leo Berman, the incumbent candidate for the Sixth District's State Representative seat. "I think the hot button issue right now in Texas is illegal immigrants, we have 2 million in Texas and border security. Right now we're spending about a billion every year on health care and education for illegal immigrants in Texas.

He's facing Gus Ramirez in the race. "I've always been a supporter of teachers, the students, and a low tax rate, and jut helping everybody that I can. [I'm] always for the schools, and low propery taxes."

Election day is March 7th.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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