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9/29/2016 Member News
ISPS will host debate featuring multiple Pinellas races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 2016

ISPS will host debate featuring multiple Pinellas races

To help citizens go to the polls as informed voters, St. Petersburg College is presenting a debate for local candidates seeking public office in the Nov. 8 general election. The debate, sponsored by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. October 5th in the Digitorium on the Seminole campus, 9200 113th Street N. Admission is free, but advance registration is required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu/.  

Voting is the most basic civil right that American citizens can claim. It is the foundation of the democratic system of government. It was guaranteed by the blood of the colonists who fought in the Revolutionary War to overthrow British oppression. But too often it is unappreciated by contemporary Americans, many of whom don’t bother to vote or fail to inform themselves about the candidates and issues at stake when they do go to the polls.

The debates are presented in an effort to dispel that apathy – and to honor the sacredness of the vote and the importance of an informed electorate. Facing off will be candidates for Pinellas County Commission from District 3, Pinellas School Board Districts 1 and 5, and candidates for the seven most highly contested seats in the state Legislature.

A distinguished panel of experts will question the candidates and provide background on the issues. They are:
· Kimberly Jackson, Department Chair, Social and Behavioral Science, St. Petersburg College
· Noah Pransky, Investigative Reporter, WTSP 10 News
· Jeremy Wallace, State Government and Politics Reporter, Tampa Bay Times
· Moderator: David Klement, Executive Director, Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, St. Petersburg College

The debates will be split into four sessions, one for the lone County Commission race, one for the two School Board runoff races, and the other two combining state legislative races whose district borders are relatively contiguous, for the convenience of voters interested in their home district candidates. The tentative schedule is:
· 5:30-6:15 p.m.: Pinellas County School Board
· 6:15-7:30 p.m.: House Districts 65, 66 and 67
· 7:30-8 p.m.: County Commission District 3
· 8-9 p.m.: Senate District 19, House Districts 68, 69 and 70

To register or for more information, visit http://solutions.spcollege.edu/ or call 727-394-6942.