Brenau University in Gainesville will be the site of Saturday night’s debate of candidates vying for the Republican nomination to fill Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat later this year.
The 6 p.m. debate is the third of seven set up by the state GOP after incumbent U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced he would not seek re-election.
Among the leading contenders are U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Jack Kingston of Savannah, and Phil Gingrey of Marietta, along with former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue.
Three months before the May 20 primary, a new poll shows Perdue with a sight lead in the crowded field of eight candidates.
Conducted by Hicks Evaluation Group and Apache Political Communications, the poll shows the top five candidates all at around 10 percent led by Perdue with a slim lead at 12.7 percent.
Kingston and Broun are tied at 10.9 percent, followed by Gingrey at 10.4 percent and Handel is at 10.2 percent. The remaining three candidates: Eugene Yu, Minister Derrick Grayson, and Art Gardner, each received less than one percent of the vote.
The poll, which has a 3.25 percentage point margin of error, surveyed 923 likely Georgia Republican primary voters.
Should no one emerge with a majority of the vote in the May 20 primary, the top two vote-getters will head for a July 22 runoff.
You can listen to tonight's debate online here and/or follow what people are saying on Twitter about it in real time here (or post-debate, too). And don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below.