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Spokane County Higher Education Institutions to Host U.S. Senate Debate Oct. 16 at Gonzaga

Posted on September 20, 2016 in: debate, Events, Spotlight

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SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane-area universities and community colleges are teaming up to hold a senatorial debate featuring incumbent Patty Murray and challenger Chris Vance. Gonzaga University will be the site of the U.S. Senate debate set for 7-8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16 in the John J. Hemmingson Center Ballroom (E. 702 DeSmet Ave.).

Spokane co-hosts are Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University Spokane, and Whitworth University. The higher education institutions are part of the Washington State Debate Coalition, a statewide effort founded by Seattle CityClub to increase opportunities for Washington voters around the state to hear from the candidates vying for public office.

John Sklut, chief of staff to Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh, said the debates are open to the public, non-partisan and an important part of the electoral process: “Higher education institutions in Spokane are excited to combine efforts to demonstrate the power of civil discourse. Debates contribute to informed, responsible citizenry, a goal we all share.”

The October debate at Gonzaga’s Hemmingson Center is an opportunity for Spokane voters to hear directly from the candidates and to pose questions about issues of highest concern. To submit a question, visit

Free tickets are available online at

The Coalition is organizing free, public debates across the state this fall, including: two gubernatorial debates scheduled for Monday, Sept. 26 at Seattle University, and Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Columbia Basin College in Pasco; and a second Senate debate scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. Challenger Bill Bryant will debate incumbent Jay Inslee in the gubernatorial debate.

With the help of the Coalition’s 80 media broadcast partners, the debates are expected to reach Washington voters in every corner of the state through television and live streaming.

Lead sponsors for the Washington State Debate Coalition are the AARP and Microsoft; supporting sponsors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

For more information, contact Mary Joan Hahn at Gonzaga University (509) 313-6095 or via email at More information about the Washington State Debate Coalition is available at

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