October 15, 2021 - The Port Wentworth Chamber of Commerce will host a 2021 Candidates Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 7-9 p.m. at the Wingate by Wyndham (formerly the Holiday Inn Express), located at 7210 Georgia Highway 21, Port Wentworth. This event will comply with COVID-19 emergency protocols, including a mask requirement and socially distanced seating arrangements during the forum.

The forum is open to all candidates running for office in the City of Port Wentworth and offers residents a chance to meet the candidates and learn more about their campaign platforms and values. Lynwood Griner declined to participate, and Mayor Gary Norton and Linda Smith did not respond to their invitations.

"The purpose of this forum is so that members of the community can gain answers and have all the information and knowledge they need to make informed choices in the upcoming election," said Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Vice Chair Vicki Waters. "This forum will provide a safe space to learn with limited attendance, socially distanced seating, and a strictly enforced mask mandate."

The forum will be moderated by WTOC's Dawn Baker, beginning with opening statements from each candidate. Baker will follow the opening statements with a question-and-answer session, using pre-approved questions submitted before the forum. The first and fourth questions will be general questions that each candidate will be permitted to answer. The second and third questions will be district-specific. The event will conclude with closing statements. Time limits will apply to the candidates' statements and answers.

The City of Port Wentworth’s Municipal Election will be held on Nov. 2, 2021, with polls open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The following candidates have qualified for the election:


Gary Norton (Incumbent)


Linda Smith (Incumbent)

Jo Smith


Gabrielle Nelson

Alfonso Ribot


Rufus Bright

Lynwood Griner

Janet Hester

The public is encouraged to attend in support of their community and the elected officials who serve it. Questions for the candidates are submitted in advance of the event with the goal of obtaining relevant information from the candidates in a fair manner. All questions must be submitted in advance by going to: https://bit.ly/2YwEPOg

The Chamber of Commerce is an unbiased, nonpartisan organization that hosts the Candidates Forum as a community service. For more information about the Port Wentworth Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.visitportwentworth.com or call 912-965-1999.

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