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“First in the State GOP Gubernatorial Debate” Officially Announced

September 1, 2009


Contact: Chad Connelly – 803-924-4596 –

Bobby Smith – 864 414 6294


Columbia, SC – September 1, 2009 – The Laurens and Newberry County Republican Parties today officially announced the “First in the State GOP Gubernatorial Debate,” to be held September 22, 2009 at the historic Newberry Opera House.

All five announced or likely Republican gubernatorial candidates have committed to attend and will participate – Congressman Gresham Barrett, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, state Sen. Larry Grooms, state Rep. Nikki Haley, and Attorney General Henry McMaster.

People from across the state will be able to watch and participate in the debate. Viewers can submit YouTube video questions in advance of the debate at The debate will also be Web-cast live at

“The Laurens and Newberry County Republican parties are excited to offer voters in the Upstate and the Midlands the first chance to see all five of these candidates in a debate. We hope many across the state tune in to hear the candidates’ plans for South Carolina,” Laurens GOP Chairman Bobby Smith said.

“The Republican message is a winning message in South Carolina, and we’re incredibly pleased to be hosting these candidates to kick off what will prove to be an exciting gubernatorial primary. Newberry County is honored to be the venue for this first debate,” Newberry GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said.

“The state Republican Party is very proud of the work these county parties have done, and I know this event is one that every Republican in this state will be proud of as well. I’d like to thank all of our gubernatorial candidates for participating, and I look forward to seeing everyone on the 22nd,” SC Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd said.

The debate will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be moderated by WIS anchor Judi Gatson. Tickets are $25, and are available from the Newberry County GOP and the Laurens County GOP. In addition, there are sponsorships available and a drop-in reception will be held for the candidates and sponsors at 6 pm at the Opera House.


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