Political debates set for Thursday night

    Murphy – For the first time, the political forums sponsored by the Cherokee Scout and Andrews Journal will feature judicial candidates in District 30.
    Incumbent Judge Kristina Earwood of Haywood County is facing a challenge from attorney Leo Phillips of Cherokee County. The judges’ forum will be part of Thursday’s event from 7-9 p.m. at the Cherokee County Courthouse downtown.
    The first debate of the night will feature school board candidates Tim Coffey of Andrews and Keesha Curtis of Wolf Creek.
    Coffey is in his second courthouse debate after facing off with Erik Brinke in 2014, while Curtis will make her debut in this format, though she debated primary challenger Tylor Dockery on WKRK in the spring. That debate will run from 7-7:40 p.m., followed by the candidates for judge from 7:45-8:10 p.m.
    The final forum of the night belongs to the candidates for District 1 county commissioner, incumbent Cal Stiles and challenger Gary James.
    Stiles is a longtime veteran of county debates, while James has participated in two forums in elections for Andrews town alderman. James narrowly missed being re-elected in a crowded field in Andrews in 2017.
    Their debate will run from 8:15-9 p.m. The debates also can be heard and seen on WKRK radio and Facebook Live.