Wingate University is expected to host a debate for two candidates running for Congress in the 8th District, officials announced recently.
The debate will feature Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell and Republican challenger Richard Hudson. Organizers have not asked write-in candidate Antonio Blue to take part. Blue is the mayor of Dobbins Heights.
The debate planned for Sept. 24 is expected to focus on health care and financial security. The event is co-sponsored by Wingate University and AARP.
“This will be the first and maybe the only debate between the candidates in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District,” said Jeff Atkinson, a spokesman for the university. “We’re looking forward to people in the community being able to hear the candidates for themselves.” The 8th District includes Richmond County.
The debate is scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Wingate University’s Batte Center, at 403 N. Camden Road, in Wingate.
Atkinson said a moderator has not been chosen, but it is likely to be from the university’s faculty or staff.
The Hudson campaign has criticized Kissell for not participating in more debates ahead of the Nov. 6 election. Hudson said he has accepted every debate invitation, including proposed debates hosted by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce & News 14 Carolina on Sept. 26, the Cabarrus County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 9, and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce & Catawba College on Oct. 10.
“Public debates and accessibility are a critical part of the democratic process,” said Chris Carter, Hudson’s campaign manager. “Richard Hudson is ready and eager to present his plan to voters, where is Larry Kissell?”
Officials with Kissell’s campaign said the congressman is eager to debate.
“We’re looking forward to the debate,” said Kissell’s communication director Christopher Schuler. “Mr. Hudson seems to have a big problem with the truth, so it’s no surprise he’s chosen to lie about this also. We’ll be there.”