KATV and Talk Business & Politics extended a debate offer to the two candidates in the 2nd District Congressional race, incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. French Hill and Democratic State Sen. Joyce Elliott. Elliott’s campaign accepted the debate offer, while Hill’s campaign declined.
As is precedent from 2018 when Hill declined a live debate with then-Democratic nominee Clarke Tucker, the show will go on with only Elliott participating.
“I appreciate the opportunity to go over my record of working for Arkansas families and my plans to improve our quality of life as a member of Congress. It doesn’t surprise me that Congressman Hill declined to debate given his record of putting corporate special interests over our interests,” Elliot said.
The two news organizations will host a one-hour forum on Monday, Oct. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. at KATV’s downtown Little Rock studio. Elliott will field questions in a live setting from KATV’s Marine Glisovic and TB&P Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock. The questions will center on domestic and foreign issues as well as questions from those watching via Facebook or other social media.
“We believe it is important to provide a forum to viewers to learn more about the candidates running to represent them. Outside of the Presidential election this year, the race for Congress in Central Arkansas is the most high-profile contest. We look forward to hearing from Sen. Elliott on a variety of topics and hope that our forum educates voters who want to learn more about her candidacy,” said KATV news director Nick Genty.
“KATV is the No. 1 TV station in the market and Talk Business & Politics is the leader in providing political coverage throughout the state. Our polling shows this race is highly competitive, so any opportunity to help voters learn more about the candidates is critical,” Brock said.
The original debate proposal submitted to Elliott and Hill offered both candidates the opportunity to negotiate the date, time and format for the forum.
A TB&P-Hendrix Poll conducted earlier this month showed Hill with a 47.5%-46% lead over Elliott.