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ABU Education Fund Finalizes 2016 Debate Series Details


The ABU Education Fund, an affiliate of the Alliance for a Better Utah, has finalized the details for its upcoming debate series, a collaboration with the University of Utah’s John R. Park Debate Society.

This biennial debate series is an opportunity for leaders to engage with the public and express their views on important issues before the upcoming general elections.

The ABU Education Fund extended debate invitations to the candidates in four House Districts, one School Board District, and to the gubernatorial candidates. All but two of the invitations were accepted. Eric Hutchings (R – HD38) declined via email. In the gubernatorial race, Mr. Weinholtz’s campaign accepted the invitation but Governor Herbert’s office has yet to respond positively or negatively to the invitation.

Debates will be live-streamed on Facebook Live through the Alliance for a Better Utah and will be broadcast by KCPW. Podcasts of the debates will also be available on KCPW’s website.

The following debates have been confirmed and scheduled:

Lisa Cummins & Erin Preston – School District 11

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Daybreak Community Center

Meeting Room C, 4544 Harvest Moon Dr., South Jordan, UT 84095

Robert Spendlove & Zach Robinson – House District 49

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – Eastmont Middle School

10100 S 1300 E, Sandy, UT 84094

Karen Kwan & Macade Jensen – House District 34

Thursday, October 13, 2016 – Baymont Inn & Suites

4465 Century Dr. W, Murray, UT 84123

Bruce Cutler & Christine Passey – House District 44

Monday, October 17, 2016 – Fairfield Inn & Suites

594 W 4500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84123

Debates will be held in-district and are scheduled for one hour, from 6:30pm – 7:30 PM, followed by a half-hour “Candidate Meet-and-Greet.”

Josh Kanter, Executive Director of the ABU Education Fund said, “We are thrilled to be offering local debates to the community again and are delighted to be partnering with the John R. Park Debate Society of the University of Utah. We appreciate that most of the candidates we contacted recognize the importance of debates to a democratic system and are willing to be seen by their constituents in an unscripted setting. It is disappointing, to say the least, that Mr. Hutchings did not follow the lead of his colleagues running for office this cycle and that Governor Herbert has yet to respond to our invitation.”

Michael Middleton, Director of the John R. Park Debate Society at the University of Utah said, “The 2016 Election Debate Series is shaping up to be a great opportunity for voters who will be affected by these contests. We are excited to be partnering with the ABU Education Fund for a second time to host these debates. Given the important role that open dialogue plays in a well-functioning democracy, we are especially pleased that voters will be able to view or listen to the debates via a variety of platforms.”

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