News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 5, 2012

Candidates agree to three gubernatorial debates

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana’s three gubernatorial candidates have committed to three televised debates this fall through the Indiana Debate Commission.

Candidates include Democrat John Gregg, Republican Mike Pence and Libertarian Rupert Boneham.

The commission is also opening up the process for venues to apply and be considered for the debate locations. Venue requirements are listed on the commission’s website along with a venue application form. indianadebatecommission.com/venue. The deadline for venues to apply is Friday, July 27, by 5 p.m.

“Candidates have agreed in principle to three debates this fall with dates to be determined at a later time,” said Indiana Debate Commission President Max Jones, editor of the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute. “The statewide debates will provide widespread access for Hoosier voters.”

Jones said the commission achieved a similar milestone in 2008,  when three debates were widely televised for the candidates then vying for the office of governor, including incumbent Mitch Daniels. Daniels leaves the governor’s office in January 2013 after serving two terms as Indiana governor.

In 2008, the commission hosted debates in Merrillville, Jasper and Bloomington — with both public and private venues donating facilities for statewide broadcasts.

“The commission, which is the only nonpartisan nonprofit in the nation hosting televised debates for state candidates, passed another milestone this year by sponsoring its 10th debate,” said Jones. “The commission also plans to schedule a U.S. Senate debate prior to the fall election as we serve our mission to put voters first.”

The Indiana Debate Commission, as in past debates, determines all formats and selects moderators to maximize voter participation.

The commission, supported by 13 affiliate citizen and media associations, organized in 2007 with the goal of providing the widest possible viewing and listening audience for candidate forums and debates. The commission provides a free satellite feed for each debate. On average, more than 50 broadcast outlets across the state of Indiana carry the debates with the commission’s assistance.