WA State Debate Coalition announces full slate of debates for governor and U.S. senator

SEATTLE – The Washington State Debate Coalition, founded by Seattle CityClub, has finalized its roster of free, public debates for U.S. senate and gubernatorial elections this fall.

KING 5, along with Seattle's other major broadcast television stations, is a Coalition member and will broadcast the debates live and online.

The debate schedule is:

Mon, Sept 26 – Seattle University, 8 p.m. PT (Gubernatorial)
Sun, Oct 16 – Gonzaga University, 7 p.m. PT (Senate)
Wed, Oct 19 – Columbia Basin College, 8 p.m. PT (Gubernatorial)
Sun, Oct 23 – Microsoft, 7 p.m. PT (Senate)

“Public debates are one of the few opportunities for voters to hear directly from candidates about why they should be elected,” says Diane Douglas, executive director of Seattle CityClub. “We believe this important exchange of ideas should be a regular and reliable part of Washington’s electoral cycle.” 

All candidates have formally accepted the Coalition's invitation to debate.

“We’ve got some significant challenges in Washington, skyrocketing homelessness, the failure to equitably fund kids' education, worsening traffic congestion, unemployment, a mental health system in shambles and collapsing salmon runs. These debates give voters the chance to listen to both my and the governor's ideas and then decide who is better to lead our state and fix these problems.” – Bill Bryant 

"Thank you to the Seattle CityClub and the Washington State Debate Coalition for putting these debates together. The last four years we've worked together to build a stronger economy and better future for every Washington family, and I'm looking forward to sharing my record and positive vision for our beautiful state." - Jay Inslee

"There is so much at stake this election for families in Washington state, and I look forward to these debates as another important opportunity to talk to voters about the issues they care about most and my plans to keep fighting for them and their priorities. I commend the Washington State Debate Coalition for organizing these two debates that will be accessible to voters across the state and for their hard work and commitment to empowering citizens and putting voters first." - Patty Murray

"I want to thank the Coalition. The public deserves real, substantive debates and that is what this new coalition has given us." - Chris Vance

Debate hosts include Gonzaga University, Washington State University-Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Community Colleges of Spokane, Whitworth University (Spokane), Microsoft (Redmond), Seattle University (Seattle), Columbia Basin College, Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC), Tri-City Herald, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visit Tri-Cities (Tri-Cities). 

With the help of the Coalition’s 80 media partners, the debates are expected to reach Washington voters in every corner of the state through television, radio, live streaming and other outlets. 

Seattle CityClub founded the Coalition of civic leaders, nonpartisan organizations, colleges and universities and media partners earlier this year to enhance citizens’ access to informative, nonpartisan political debates. Click here for a list of Coalition members.

Financial support for the Coalition is being provided by lead sponsors AARP and Microsoft, supporting sponsors Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and individual donors to Seattle CityClub’s Empowered Voters Campaign.

“We believe that voters should have more information from candidates than 30 second sound bites from partisan sources,” explains AARP advocacy director Cathy MacCaul. “We deserve better. Debates are valuable opportunities for the public to engage with the candidates on the important issues that matter most to them.” 

More information about the Washington State Debate Coalition is available at seattlecityclub.org/wastatedebatecoalition.

“We’re excited to work with our partners and debate hosts on this innovative and groundbreaking initiative to ensure all Washingtonians have an opportunity to participate in civic discussions and have access to candidates seeking the highest offices in our state,” says Douglas. 

Copyright 2016 KING


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