Congressional Candidates Debate Oct 23 at WCU

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and the Public Policy Institute will host a debate between the two candidates seeking election in November for the opportunity to represent North Carolina’s 11thCongressional District.

The debate, to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, will feature Republican Mark Meadows, a businessman and entrepreneur, and Democrat Hayden Rogers, chief of staff for current U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler. It will be held in the Grandroom, located on the third floor of A.K. Hinds University Center.

Russ Bowen, news anchor and reporter for Asheville-based television stations WLOS-TV and WMYA (My40), will serve as debate moderator. The debate will be streamed live on the WLOS-TV website, www.wlos.com.

The debate is open to the public free of charge, but seating is limited. Those interested in attending should reserve a seat by sending an email to the Public Policy Institute at ppi@email.wcu.edu by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. There is a limit of two tickets per request.

Those who request tickets will receive a confirmation number. Ticket holders are asked to be seated by 6:50 p.m. By 6:55 p.m., any remaining seats in the Grandroom will be released on a first-come, first-served basis to people who show up without tickets. Anyone not seated by 6:50 p.m. cannot be guaranteed a seat.

The event was originally scheduled to be held in the University Center theater, with overflow seating in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall, where viewers could watch a live streaming video of the debate. It is being relocated to the larger venue of the Grandroom to accommodate public demand for tickets. In the event that all seats in the Grandroom are claimed, overflow seating with access to the live video stream will be available in the University Center theater.

Hosting a congressional debate on campus is in keeping with this year’s interdisciplinary theme of “Citizenship and Civility,” a yearlong exploration of what it means to be a citizen and what it means to be civil, said Todd Collins, associate professor of political science and public affairs and director of the PPI.

“Concepts of citizenship and civility certainly are brought into sharp focus during a time of national elections. We want our students to understand and appreciate what it means to be a citizen and to discuss issues in a civil manner, even though we may have widely different opinions,” Collins said. “We are very excited to have our congressional candidates on campus. This should be a great event for the community and for our students.”

For more information, contact WCU’s Public Policy Institute at 828-227-3898.

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