Troy University hopes to spur voters with Congressional Debate Series

Posted: Wednesday, 02 April 2008

TROY – Troy University hopes to spur voters to the polls in the Second Congressional District through a series of three debates among the candidates vying for the post.

Special elections have been set to fill the seat in Congress left vacant by long-time Congressman Terry Everett’s retirement in December.

By teaming with the American Association of Retired Persons, WSFA and the Federation of Small and Independent Businesses, Dr. James Rinehart, chair of the Department of Political Science at Troy University, said he hoped the people of the Second District would see the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

“If we can provide a forum whereby voters can make an informed decision about who we want representing us in Washington, then we have filled a great need in the Second Congressional District,” Rinehart, who is coordinating the debates, said.

The first debate, which will be televised live from the WSFA studios, is scheduled for 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. April 18. That debate is closed to the public since it originates in studio.

The first debate with open attendance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. April 21 on the Troy Campus in Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor. The final debate of the series is scheduled for April 29 in the Dothan Campus’ Sony Hall from 10 a.m. – noon.

In each debate, a panel of three people will pose questions to the candidates – one AARP representative, one WSFA representative and Dr. Rinehart, acting as the TROY representative. So far, all but one candidate has confirmed their participation in the debate. The qualifying deadline for the race is Friday.

Rinehart said, that while tentative, there was also the possibility of questions from the audiences in Troy and Dothan through a submitted question card system.

The debates are also a part of AARP’s “Divided We Fail” program, which aims to amplify the voices of Americans who believe that health care and lifetime financial security are the most pressing domestic issues facing the nation. For more information on the “Divided We Fail” program, visit on the world wide web.