Laurens and Turner are vying for the House seat after being the top two vote-getters in a Jan. 8 special election. A runoff between the candidates is scheduled for Feb. 5.
The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and is hosted by the Cherokee County Republican Party.
Questions can be submitted for consideration by Jan. 20 and can be emailed to
While he’s looking forward to the debate, Laurens said voter turnout will be a bigger issue than voter education for the runoff.
“These voters have been asked to vote so many times. I think they’re going to know who we are and will have already chosen to vote for one of us or vote against one of us,” he said.
Turner said he is looking forward to discussing the issues during the debate.
“I think there are some significant differences between us that can be highlighted,” he said, noting that he’s hoping to set the record straight regarding where he stands on tax reform.
Holidays and other time constraints did not allow for debates in the House race or the Senate District 21 race before the Jan. 8 special election.
Debate organizer John Marinko, first vice chair of the Republican Party of Cherokee County, expects the debate to be “very, very well attended.” He said he also expects that attendees will submit a large number of questions.
“There will probably be a good quantity of ethics questions, since that’s been such a hot topic, and questions about spending,” he said.
Both candidates had requested an opportunity to debate, Marinko said.
Early voting for the runoff is set to begin Wednesday. Election Day for the runoff will be Feb. 5.
Only eligible voters living within House District 21 can cast ballots in the runoff.
House District 21 spans all or part of the following districts: Air Acres, Arnold Mill, Avery, Bridgemill, Hickory Flat, Holly Springs, Liberty, Mountain Road, Teasley, Toonigh and Wildcat.
Early voting will be held at the Cherokee County Elections Office on East Main Street in Canton. The office will be open for voting from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 16 to 18, Jan. 22 to 25 and Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.
On Election Day, voters must report to their assigned precincts to cast ballots. All involved precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
With only one race on the ballot, Cherokee County Elections Supervisor Janet Munda said turnout will likely be low.
“It’s all a big guess,” she said. Turnout for the January special election came in at about 10 percent of eligible voters.
Costs for the runoff election, including overtime pay, extra staff, ballot printing and other operational costs, are expected to come in at $10,000 to $15,000.