The debate between the five Democratic candidates running to take on Elizabeth Dole in the general election is available as a podcast from Public Radio East. Those participating were Duskin Lassiter of Lexington, Marcus Williams of Lumberton, Jim Neal of Chapel Hill, Howard Staley of Moncure and Kay Hagan of Greensboro. Megen George, News Director for PRE moderated the debate. A very generous grant from Chestnut, Clemmons & Peacock, P.A. made the live broadcast possible.
Megen spoke with me about the ups and downs of trying to get five candidates in the same room to debate. After issuing the invitation to the candidates, most replied immediately that they would like to debate and the date of March 28 was set. Kay Hagan was at that time the lone holdout. Megen said that with a majority of candidates ready to go, the debate was on whether Hagan participated or not. No deadlines were missed and all five showed up for the debate.
Joining with PRE to put on the debate was the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. From their web site:
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Judie Burke, President of the League in North Carolina, is sincere in wanting to promote access to all of the candidates for North Carolina voters. When I spoke with her I asked about information on the two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. In a pleasant but firm voice she reminded me that there are five candidates running. Of course I knew there were more than two candidates, but Judie was going to make sure I knew since I so easily dismissed the other three. That was just a wee bit embarrassing.
Both Judie and Megen were extremely pleased that the podcast of the debate was being made available for those who missed the event or the live broadcast. Megen explained that this was a first for PRE. The debate wasn't the only thing that was a first. Broadcasting an event like this from a remote location was a first for the station and Megen seemed very pleased and excited that they had pulled it off.
Public Radio East and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina have provided the voters of this state with an invaluable resource. Please take the time to listen to the podcast and offer your thoughts in the comments.