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WCU to host congressional, state legislative debate series

Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and Department of Political Science and Public Affairs are seeking questions from Western North Carolina voters to be asked during a series of debates in September and October.

Questions relevant to the races for U.S. House of Representatives District 11, N.C. House of Representatives District 119 and N.C. Senate District 50 should be submitted to the Public Policy Institute prior to each debate. Questions must be submitted by registered voters in the district, should be emailed to, and must include the name of the sender and the county of residence.

The WCU Political Debate Series will get underway Friday, Sept. 23, with opponents for the U.S. House of Representatives District 11 – incumbent Mark Meadows (R-Jackson) and challenger Rick Bryson (D-Swain).

That opening event will be followed on Wednesday, Oct. 12, by the candidates in the N.C. House of Representatives District 119 race pitting incumbent Joe Sam Queen (D-Haywood) against Mike Clampitt (R-Swain).

Wrapping up the series Thursday, Oct. 27, will be the contenders for the N.C. Senate District 50 seat, with incumbent Jim Davis (R-Macon) and opponent Jane Hipps (D-Haywood).

About 300 people attended the first of three debates at WCU for candidates seeking office.

About 300 people attended the first of three debates at WCU for candidates seeking office in 2014.

All three debates will be held in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building on WCU’s West Campus. Each debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live online by WLOS-TV on The events are open to the public free of charge. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Providing an opportunity for residents of WNC to learn more about candidates for elected office is part of the university’s mission as a regional comprehensive institution, said Todd Collins, director of the Public Policy Institute.

“Western Carolina University endeavors to be engaged with the region that it serves,” said Collins, who holds the David and Lois Steed Distinguished Professorship in Public Policy at WCU. “We hope that voters will embrace this opportunity to learn more about the issues that face our region and about the candidates seeking their votes. We encourage students, faculty, staff and members of the community to participate in the debates by submitting questions and to watch the debates in person or online. This will help them make informed decisions when they cast their ballots in November.”

For more information about the WCU Political Debate Series, contact the Public Policy Institute at 828-227-3898.

By Bill Studenc

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


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