September 12, 2014
For more detailed information on the debate and affiliated events, click here.
Democratic incumbent Ami Bera and Republican challenger Doug Ose, competing in one of the nation's most closely watched congressional contests, have agreed to participate in a live debate at KVIE-TV studios on Wednesday, Oct. 8.
The candidates accepted an invitation from media outlets The Sacramento Bee, Capital Public Radio and KVIE, as well as the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State, Folsom Lake College and the Los Rios Community College District.
The live debate is scheduled for one hour - 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. - before a studio audience of about 100 students and members of the public.
"Hosting this debate is a natural for KVIE," said station President and General Manager David Lowe. "Through news and information programs that challenge assumptions, we're providing for better informed citizens that make for a better democracy."
The 7th Congressional District, which includes eastern Sacramento County and the cities of Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove, is considered a battleground race given the district's nearly even partisan divide.
"This is such an important election for us locally, and with the national audience tuned in, there's bound to be a lot of outside voices," The Bee's Publisher and President Cheryl Dell said. "We believe it is important for voters to hear directly from the candidates in a forum that allows them to compare and evaluate different perspectives."
In addition to the television broadcast on local station Channel 6, Capital Public Radio plans to air the debate live as well as stream the event on its website.
"We're pleased to be able to bring these candidates face to face in pursuit of civil discourse. It's an important part of our mission," said Capital Public Radio's President and General Manager Rick Eytcheson.
Area journalists will make up the panel that asks the questions of Bera and Ose. Jason Shoultz of KVIE will serve as moderator. Panelists will include Marianne Russ, managing editor of Capital Public Radio, and Bee Capitol Bureau Chief Dan Smith.
"By directly connecting voters with the candidates, this debate helps promote an informed and engaged electorate," observed Steve Boilard, executive director of Sacramento State's Center for California Studies. "It's valuable for voters to see beyond the campaign brochures."
A panel of experts will convene earlier in the day at Folsom Lake College to preview the event and discuss political debating.
"For the Los Rios district and Folsom Lake College, we see our role clearly as a matter of educating the citizens and voters of the 7th Congressional District about the issues of the day, and how the two candidates propose to address those challenges," said Los Rios Chancellor Brian King. Folsom Lake College, one of the four Los Rios colleges, sits in the 7th Congressional District.