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The Villages
Friday, July 12, 2024

Marlene O’Toole drops out of debate set for state senate candidates

Marlene O'Toole
Marlene O’Toole

State Rep. Marlene O’Toole has dropped out of a debate for state senate candidates set for later this month in The Villages.

The Villages Tea Party will host the Candidate Forum Debate on July 25 at Savannah Center.

O’Toole’s campaign manager, Austin Locke, spoke to Tea Party President Aileen Milton at Saturday’s Republican headquarters grand opening at Lake Sumter Landing. Locke informed Milton that O’Toole will not participate in the forum.

All the candidates, including O’Toole, confirmed their invitations in early June. However, Milton said that all of the invited candidates, except O’Toole, reconfirmed their invitations in early July.

O’Toole is facing state Rep. Dennis Baxley of Belleview and Villager David Gee in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

Also featured at the debate will be candidates hoping to represent The Villages in Congress, Daniel Webster and Justin Grabelle.

Former U.S. Senate Secretary for the Majority Elizabeth Baldwin Chryst will moderate the candidate forum.

Candidates will be given two-minute opening statements, they will answer questions related to seven topics: national security, immigration, health care reform, trade and tax reform, veterans affairs, Common Core, and the second amendment. Candidates will have a minute to answer each question, along with 30 seconds to answer one rebuttal per question.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 6:15 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

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