All four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’ Second Congressional District have agreed to a one-hour debate on Wednesday, April 4th in Little Rock at the television studios of KATV Ch. 7 from 7-8 p.m.
KATV and Talk Business & Politics will partner on the debate, the first of the 2018 campaign season. Candidates Gwen Combs, Jonathan Dunkley, Paul Spencer and Clarke Tucker have all agreed to take part in the first debate. The winner of the Democratic primary will face incumbent U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, and Libertarian Joe Swafford in November.
“KATV is excited to bring to the viewers an opportunity to hear directly from the Democratic candidates,” KATV news director Nick Genty said. “The combined voice of the No. 1 television station in Arkansas along with the No. 1 political media outlet will give the voters of the 2nd District the information they need to make to make an informed decision when they go to the polls for the May primary. It’s their voice and their future.”
KATV’s lead anchor Chris May will moderate the debate. Talk Business & Politics editor-in-chief Roby Brock and KATV lead political reporter and weekend anchor Janelle Lilley will quiz candidates on a series of questions concerning domestic and foreign issues.
“We are looking forward to a spirited debate on major issues impacting Arkansans,” Brock said. “This year’s field of Democrats pursuing this seat are all uniquely qualified and offer voters a lot to consider. I hope this event informs voters, helps define the candidates, and raises the political dialogue in our state and nation.”
The Congressional debate will broadcast live on KATV.com, KATV’s Facebook page, and through TalkBusiness.net and Talk Business & Politics’ Facebook page. Replays will also air. The debate will not be open to the general public due to limited seating. Other non-TV media will be allowed to attend as observers and for reporting purposes only, but must coordinate in advance.
Gwen Combs said, “I am thrilled about the opportunity to discuss the issues Arkansans care about most with other candidates for Arkansas’ 2nd District. The fact that there are four Democratic candidates heading into the primary shows that it’s time for change in Arkansas. The tide is shifting in our country, and people are ready for representation in Congress that is truly of the people and for the people. As the only woman, the only veteran, and the only public school teacher in the race, I bring a unique voice to the table and look forward to sharing it at the debate.”
Jonathan Dunkley said, “Thanks to Roby and the teams at Talk Business & Politics and KATV for putting this debate together. This will be the first opportunity for voters to hear positions on the issues that impact the lives of people in our district. I look forward to talking about how we solve the health care issues that confront us, how we can increase access to institutions of higher learning – whether it is a college, university or trade school – and how we work to create real solutions to the economic issues that confront us all every day. The people of the 7 counties in the 2nd district deserve real answers to very real problems.”
Paul Spencer said, “I want to thank Roby, Chris, and the joint team at KATV and Talk Business & Politics for hosting this debate. Our people-powered campaign has spent eight months listening to voters across the Second District, and we are committed to meeting their demands of healthcare that is universal and free at the point-of-service, affordable broadband access to every home, paid family and maternity leave, and a living wage of no less than $15 per hour. We look forward to debating the best way to deliver on these nonnegotiable, progressive ideas with all other candidates in this race.”
Clarke Tucker said, “In my time visiting with friends and neighbors all over the congressional district, it has been clear to me that people here care about the issues that affect them every day of their lives, not whatever Congress happens to be bickering about that day. Instead of playing partisan politics, folks want to see representation that will work for them, like delivering affordable healthcare, strengthening education, protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and helping grow the economy and creating opportunity for everyone here locally. I look forward to sharing my vision on how we can change the conversation and deliver for our communities here in the District.
For more information, contact Roby Brock at [email protected].