Paddie Williams

State Rep. Chris Paddie, left, and Mark Williams are running for the District 9 seat in the Texas House of Representatives

The Panola County Republican Party is hosting a debate Saturday, Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Still Waters Cowboy Church in Carthage.

The event will start with a flag ceremony by the American Heritage Girls, and then moderator Greg Stapleton, vice chair of the local GOP party, will ask pre-prepared questions. Index cards will be passed out so that the public can write down questions to be asked as well.

Panola County GOP Chair Nicole Tarpley said they invited everyone running in the Republican primary from the president on down to the precinct chairs.

The people who have confirmed they are attending are U.S. Senate candidate Mark Yancey; Texas House District 9 Rep. Chris Paddie and opponent Mark Williams; and Nicole Tarpley and Linda Lawless, who are running for Panola County Republican Party Chair.

Just because more haven’t RSVPed doesn’t mean they won’t show up though, Tarpley said.

“Sometimes because the schedules are so tight before primaries, politicians do not respond and they just show up,” Tarpley said.

The debate at Still Waters is the exclusive debate between Paddie and Williams for House District 9. Tarpley emphasized its importance because the two will not be debating anywhere else.

“(The debate) is important because it puts a face to the name on the ballot,” Tarpley said. “The voters should have a chance to see and speak to who they are voting for on the ballot... It’s very important to know who you’re voting for in the primary election, and this helps people to know who they are.”

Still Waters Cowboy Church is located at 1699 Texas 315 in Carthage.