Decision 2012: Democratic candidates square off in debate - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Decision 2012: Democratic candidates square off in debate

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Candidates running for local, state, and congressional offices made their last plea with voters, who filled the sanctuary of St. Paul AME Church.

Thursday night, Channel 3 takes a look at the candidates.

State Representative Joanne Favors is hoping to clinch a new district, after lines were redrawn.

But Democratic voters have their work cut out for them.

Favors and her opponent, Tommie Brown, echoed one another on everything from gun rights to Obamacare.

"I believe our president has done the very best possible job," Brown says.

"I think there are some areas of the act that could stand some tweaking, but overall I think it's the best thing that probably will happen to us in the 21st century," Favors says.

In the 10th District, a business man, a city councilman, and a school board member, are hoping to fill Andy Berke's senate seat as he runs for Chattanooga mayor.

"I'm running for this because it's in my gut and I want to work for you," candidate Quenston Coleman says.

"Many will tell you we are facing a Republican majority in the house and in the senate, therefore you are wasting your time," Councilman Andrae McGary says. "I do not believe it is a waste of time to tell the truth."

"I believe I can best represent your community because I've been doing it all my life," David Testerman says.

Republican Todd Guardenhire also joined the debate.

Rick Wilson and Richard Ford hope to beat incumbent Jim Coppinger for the county mayor's chair.

Both hope to concentrate on keeping a budget.

"If Walmart did its budgets the way Hamilton County did its budgets, there would be one Walmart," Rick Wilson says. "It would be boarded up and bankrupted in Bentonville, Arkansas. We need improvement."

"We would definitely have to bring them in line, I mean, make them accountable for what they do spend," says Richard Ford.

And in what seems to be the most talked about race of the season, the U.S. Congressional Third District.

Dr. Mary Headrick and Dr. Bill Taylor hope voters will push one of them through, instead of one of the four Republican candidates.

"If you do your homework and look, you've got to vote for me or him," Mary Headrick says. "So first of all, do your homework."

"Your Democratic candidates for the Third District are talking about the issues and know about the issues," Bill Taylor says. "The other candidates do not."

Democratic voters say they're holding out hope.

"I never give up hope," voter, Paulina Wampler says. "We have to work really hard. We do have some great candidates."

The debate forum was sponsored by Channel 3, our partners at the Times Free Press, and NAACP.    

Channel 3 and the Times Free Press hosted the GOP candidates for the Third U.S. Congressional District in May.

Click here for a look at all the candidates, a sample ballot and early voting information.

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