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Wed August 20, 2014
All Politics are Local

Centre President Awaits Reply on Proposed Debate

Organizers of a proposed debate between Kentucky's two leading senate candidates are awaiting a response from one of the campaigns.

As WEKU’s  Jonese Franklin reports, the clock is ticking on the September deadline.

Centre College President John A. Roush (center) is joined by AARP State President Jim Kimbrough (far left), AARP State Director Ron Bridges (left), WAVE3 News Vice President and General Manager Ken Selvaggi (right) and Richard Trollinger, vice president for college relations.
Centre College President John A. Roush (center) is joined by AARP State President Jim Kimbrough (far left), AARP State Director Ron Bridges (left), WAVE3 News Vice President and General Manager Ken Selvaggi (right) and Richard Trollinger, vice president for college relations.
Credit Pam Wright / Advocate Messenger

Kentucky Educational Television announced this week, incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell and challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes will appear together October 13th on the network's Kentucky Tonight program. In July, Centre College offered to host a September debate between the two candidates. College President John Roush says while he applauds the announcement from KET, a debate at Centre would offer Kentuckians a different experience.

"We're holding on to the hope that both campaigns will see the wisdom of having a debate, another opportunity to share their views, and to meet these candidates in a more personal way on September three," said Roush.

Roush says Centre has received a definitive answer from one camp but the school is waiting on a response from the other. He says in an effort to remain impartial, he would not say which campaign was holding out. Libertarian candidate David Patterson was excluded from the KET forum. Patterson is on the November ballot but officials with KET say he did not meet their criteria to participate in their program.  President Roush says Patterson would likewise not be invited to join the Centre debate.

"You know, getting on the ballot not's the same as being able to show a relative seriousness as a viable candidate in most of these kind of debate formats,” he said.

Centre's proposed senatorial debate is scheduled for September 3rd.