DANVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Centre College, media partner WAVE 3 News and sponsoring partner AARP have formally proposed a debate among Kentucky's candidates for U.S. Senate.
Centre College would host the debate, which has been proposed for September 3, 2014 from 8 to 9 p.m. It would be open to any candidate who receives at least 10 percent support in the NBC News/Marist poll prior to August 1. Only Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes currently meet this criterion.
Centre College President John A. Roush, WAVE 3 News Vice President and General Manager Ken Selvaggi and AARP Kentucky Statewide Director Ron Bridges made the announcement July 17 during a news conference in front of the college's Norton Center for the Arts, where both the 2000 and 2012 vice presidential debates were held.
"I think Kentuckians want a debate," said Roush, "and we hope to provide a venue where the voters can get to know the candidates and learn more about their positions."
WAVE 3 News has secured a network of stations to carry the debate live, including WLEX-TV in Lexington; WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, which covers northern Kentucky; KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, MO, which covers western Kentucky; WQWQ-TV in Paducah, KY; WQTV-TV in Murray, KY; and WSAZ-TV in Huntington WV, which covers the Ashland, KY area. In addition, WHAS-AM in Louisville, WGKY/WREZ/WZZL-FM in Paducah and other radio stations would carry the debate as well.
WAVE 3 News has made anchors Scott Reynolds and Shannon Cogan available as moderators for the debate.
"This is a very important race," said Selvaggi. "It could be the most important race in the country this year, and we really need it to be fleshed out in a substantive debate."
While dates other than September 3 that are agreeable to both candidates will be considered, Roush expressed a strong interest in holding the debate after September 1 so Centre students would be on campus.
"Our past debate experiences were once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunities for students," Roush said. "We would hope to involve them in this debate as well."
The proposed debate would take place in Newlin Hall, the same venue where vice presidential candidates Joseph Lieberman and Dick Cheney debated in 2000 and Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan debated in 2012.