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Posted: November 6, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Democratic governor candidates meeting at Saturday event

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Dubose Porter and David Poythress will be speaking at the Newton County Democratic Gala, taking place at 7 p.m., Saturday at the Washington Street Community Center.

Invitations have been sent out to candidates Roy Barnes and Thurbert Baker, but as of Thursday, neither had confirmed their attendance, said Andre Cooper, first vice chair of the local Democratic party.

Tickets to attend the dinner and speaking event are $25 and can be purchased from any local Democratic member, or by calling (770) 787-5897 or e-mailing acooper231@hotmail.com. The 2010 candidates will each speak for a handful of minutes and will also mingle with the attendees.

In addition to the gubernatorial candidates, R.J. Hadley, a former Rockdale County chief of staff, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson, will attend. Current U.S. Rep. Tyrone Brooks will be the keynote speaker. Cooper said the theme for the Gala is "Democrats are on the move."

Candidates for other races and local Democratic leaders have been invited, but Cooper said he wasn’t sure who else was going to attend. He said there is room for 125 attendees.

According to a late-October story by Rasmussen, a public opinion data Web site, Barnes and Baker are the clear front runners for the Democratic nomination. Barnes, the former Georgia governor who lost to Sonny Perdue in 2002, is favored by 43 percent of Democratic voters. Baker, Georgia’s Attorney General, has made strong gains and is favored by 19 percent of voters.

Porter, the House Minority Leader, and Poythress, a former Georgia secretary of state and 1998 gubernatorial candidate, each are favored by four percent of voters. Many voters don’t yet have an opinion on Porter and Poythress because they are not widely known at this stage in the race.

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