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  • Charleston mayoral candidates set to take stage in debate hosted by community partners

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    September 18, 2018
    Charleston, W.Va. – Charleston mayoral candidates JB Akers and Amy Goodwin are set to take the stage for a debate hosted by AARP West Virginia, the Charleston Area Alliance, Charleston Main Streets, the Charleston Gazette-Mail and WCHS/WVAH-TV. The Charleston Mayoral Debate will be held on Tuesday, October 16 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater, and will also be broadcast live on WVAH-TV (Fox 11).
    “AARP has a proud 32-year history of non-partisan voter engagement, providing voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues important to our members and their families, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day,” said Gaylene Miller, AARP West Virginia State Director. “While we represent people 50 and older, the issues that impact our members are also important to younger voters. Working with our outstanding partner organizations, we look forward to presenting a fair and balanced debate that provides Charleston voters with as much information as possible about the candidates’ positions on key issues affecting our state’s Capital City.”
    “As Charleston’s economic and community development organization representing more than 500 businesses, the Alliance is committed to bringing opportunities to our community and sharing information on the issues most important to our future,” said Matt Ballard, President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. “This mayoral race is a pivotal moment for our city, and it is crucial that Charleston’s residents are as widely informed as possible and that they can hear from the candidates on the issues that matter. From the need for a focus on economic growth to the challenge of keeping Charleston safe and secure, the issues facing our city are wide-ranging. We’re proud to join with additional community-minded organizations to make this informative debate possible.”
    “Charleston Main Streets’ mission is to strengthen the urban core of Charleston within its neighborhood business districts through community and economic development. Education of the citizenry is a crucial step in the development process and we are very excited to partner with the Alliance, AARP, the Gazette-Mail, and WCHS/WVAH to host the Charleston Mayoral Debate,” said Ric Cavender, Executive Director of Charleston Main Streets. “We hope the business owners, visitors, and residents of the East End and West Side attend or tune in and educate themselves on the issues facing our city and where our candidates stand on each of them.”
    The debate is free and open to the public. Online registration, which includes an opportunity to submit questions and topics for consideration, is requested at: LINK. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the debate will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Admission is first come, first seated. Follow the Facebook event page for updates: LINK
    AARP has long-established criteria for the inclusion of candidates in state voter engagement activities, including debates: 1.) For political party candidates, the party must have received at least 10 percent of the votes in the last general election vote, if the party ran a candidate. 2.) For independent candidates, the individual must register at least 10 percent in voter support in public statistically significant polls conducted by news media or other independent organizations (not done for a political party or candidate).
    Outlining the process for including candidates in this debate, Gaylene Miller said, “Orion Strategies, a strategic communications and public relations firm, conducted a telephone survey September 4-6, 2018 among historic, likely Charleston voters to gauge public opinion on the status of the 2018 General Election Mayoral Race. The decision to exclude certain candidates from the 2018 Charleston Mayor Debate was made solely by the organizers of this event, based upon the qualifying guidelines and public polling results.”
    In addition to the live television broadcast, the debate will be livestreamed on the Gazette-Mail (https://www.wvgazettemail.com/) and WCHS/WVAH-TV (https://wchstv.com/) websites.
    Jessica Tice