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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | lmelton@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8830
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October 2, 2006
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations (218) 726-8830 slatto@d.umn.edu
Wy Spano, Director, Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership (218) 726-6658 wspano@d.umn.edu
Julie Smith, Admin. Coordinator, Center for Advocacy & Political Leadership, (218) 726-6711, jsmith7@d.umn.edu


UMD TO HOST SERIES OF POLITICAL DEBATES
October 21 and 28


Co-sponsored by UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership and Forum Communications

University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) will host a series of debates among Minnesota candidates for the offices of Attorney General, State Auditor and Secretary of State, October 21 and 28. The series will also include a debate on the proposed constitutional amendment, which would dedicate motor vehicle sales taxes to transportation needs.

The hour-long debates, titled It's All Important," will be co-sponsored by UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership and Forum Communications. The events will be held on the UMD campus: October 21, in Bohannon Hall 90 and October 28, in the UMD Kirby Student Center Lounge. The debates are free, and the public is cordially invited.

Forum Communications Capitol Bureau Chief Don Davis will moderate the debates. Audience members may submit questions for the candidates.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21,
UMD Bohannon Hall 90 (1202 Ordean Court)

State Auditor Candidate Debate
11:30 a.m.
The invited candidates are:

  • Patricia Anderson, Republican
  • Lucy Gerold, Independence
  • Rebecca Otto, Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Attorney General Candidate Debate
12:30 p.m.
The invited candidates are:

  • John James, Independence
  • Jeff Johnson, Republican
  • Lori Swanson, Democratic-Farmer-Labor

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
UMD Kirby Student Center Lounge, first floor (1120 Kirby Drive)

Debate on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment
The amendment would dedicate all motor vehicle sales taxes to transportation needs.
11:30 a.m.
The debaters are:

  • PRO - Rick Kreuger, Executive Director, Minnesota Transportation Alliance
  • PRO – David Olson, President, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
  • CON - Mark Voxland, Mayor of Moorhead
  • CON - Dan Dorman, State Representative (R-Albert Lea)

Secretary of State Candidate Debate
12:30 p.m.
The invited Secretary of State candidates are:

  • Mary Kiffmeyer, Republican
  • Mark Ritchie, Democratic-Farmer-Labor
  • Joel Spoonheim, Independence

ABOUT CO-SPONSORS:
Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership
The UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership offers a Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) degree to weekend students from throughout the state. Currently the program has 61 students, who will be attending the debates.

"Involvement in civic and community life is important for everyone. Often the statewide campaigns for offices beyond governor and senator have a difficult time being heard. We are delighted to be able to provide a forum for these other offices as well as for the proposed constitutional amendment," said the Center's Associate Director, Dr. Jennifer Imsande.

Forum Communications
Forum Communications owns 28 newspapers in Minnesota, including the Duluth News Tribune, purchased this June as part of the divestiture of properties by the former Knight-Ridder publishing group. Forum Communications newspapers comprise the second largest group of newspaper readership in Minnesota.

Debate moderator, Don Davis, has been with Forum Communications since 2001, and has covered the Minnesota State Capitol since 1998. Our newspapers believe that all races on the November 7 ballot are important, and we welcome this opportunity to give voters a chance to learn more about the candidates and the issues," Davis said. "We hope Duluth area residents will attend the debates. We will be providing coverage available to voters across the state."


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