GOP candidates headed to Meridian for congressional forum

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Candidates in one of the biggest elections in east Mississippi are all headed to Meridian for a special forum on May 23rd.

WTOK-TV and The Meridian Star are teaming up to present the GOP Congressional Forum Wednesday, May 23. It's sponsored by The Lauderdale County Republican Party.

Six Republican candidates looking to fill Rep. Gregg Harper's spot in Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District will attend the two-hour forum. Organizers say with so many Republican candidates in this race, it's important for voters to be educated.

"We know that there's a lot of voter confusion on who is running for what," Republican party volunteer Julia Norman says. "So this is just an opportunity for Lauderdale County to get out and listen to what their views are, what their positions are, so when they go to the ballot box, they're making educated decisions."

Sally Doty, Morgan Dunn, Michael Guest, Whit Hughes, Perry Parker and Katherine Tate will make opening and closing statements. Each candidate will also take questions from WTOK and The Meridian Star, as well as two political analysts. Syndicated columnist Sid Salter will serve as moderator.

Norman says this area, in particular, will have a big impact on this election.

"Lauderdale County has the opportunity to really affect this election," she says. "We're the third largest voting block for the 3rd Congressional district. So who we vote for is going to heavily determine who goes to D.C. to represent us."

That forum will begin at 7 p.m. at in Meridian Community College's McCain Theater. The audience will be seated between 6:15-6:45 p.m. The forum is free to anyone, but tickets should be picked up in advance at The Meridian Star's office at 814 22nd Avenue, during regular business hours.

We'll have live coverage at and on our WTOK mobile app for those who can't attend. The Meridian Star will also livestream at

Michael Aycox and Michael Ted Evans are the two candidates competing for the Democratic nomination June 5.