The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will host a forum featuring local candidates seeking public office and information about key issues that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. The free event is open to the public and will be held:
5:30-9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2
Digitorium UP 160
9200 113th Street N
Seminole, FL 33772
The debates are presented in an effort to dispel voter apathy and to honor the importance of an informed electorate. Facing off will be candidates for Pinellas County Commission from Districts 2 and 4, and candidates for the eight most highly contested seats in the state legislature. Also up for debate will be three proposed amendments to the State Constitution.
Admission is free but advance registration is requested.
A distinguished panel of experts will question the candidates and provide background on the issues. They are:
- Frank Alcock, associate professor of political science, New College of Florida, Sarasota
- Adam Smith, political editor, Tampa Bay Times
- Roy Slater, social science professor, St. Petersburg College
- Noah Pransky, investigative reporter, WTSP 10 News, St. Petersburg
- Moderator: Joni James, deputy editor of editorials, Tampa Bay Times
The debates will be split into three one-hour sessions, with the first two combining state legislative races whose district borders are relatively contiguous, for the convenience of voters interested in their home district candidates. A brief discussion of the three constitutional amendments will precede the candidate debates. The schedule is:
- 5:30-6 p.m. – Constitutional Amendments 1 2, and 3
- 6-7 p.m. – House Districts 65, 66 and 67
- 7-8 p.m. – Senate District 22, House Districts 68 and 69
- 8-9 p.m. – County Commission Districts 2 and 4
The event is co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times.