UK Hopes to Land a Kentucky U.S. Senatorial Debate This Fall

Jun 5, 2014


    The University of Kentucky is seeking to host a U.S. Senatorial debate in the next few months.  So far, neither candidate has committed.

The official request for UK to host a debate went out May ninth.  Although neither incumbent Mitch McConnell nor challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has said yes, the veteran senator has made format and scheduling suggestions. 

Brad Allen, Co-Director of the Senate Debate Initiative, says the youth vote could make a difference in November.  "This is a demographic here that really traditionally statewide does not get that involved in an election and in a situation like this, in an election like this, I think the younger vote really could have a huge impact on this election.  So, I think it could benefit both candidates," said Allen.   

Calling it a political race "hard to ignore", UK Student Activities Board President Jacob Ewing says the debate could increase civic education and electoral engagement.  Ewing says the start of the fall semester would be a great time for a debate.  "They're ready to learn and they're still kind of excited about the school year and about the elections.   We'd love to do it in early September. We'd also love to do it on campus, where that is we're not 100 percent sure.  Love to do it at Singletary Center," said Ewing.

If the McConnell-Lundergan Grimes debate can be scheduled, Ewing and Allen both hope it will include a live audience on campus.