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Wake Forest debate series update: interview will air in place of debate

October 20, 2006

A 30-minute interview with Roger Sharpe, the Democratic candidate running for North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, will be broadcast on radio station WFDD (88.5 FM) in place of a debate planned as a part of the Wake Forest Open Candidate Debate Series.  

The series is sponsored by Wake Forest’s debate program and WFDD.  During the series, one 30-minute debate or interview segment will be broadcast each day from 6 - 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.  The segments will be recorded without a live audience at the WFDD studios at Wake Forest during the week prior to the broadcasts.  U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, who had been invited to participate in the debate with Sharpe, announced on Oct. 20 that she declined to participate, citing prior commitments. 

Aside from Foxx and Sharpe, four candidates running for two offices have been invited to participate.  The other four candidates are Forsyth County Board of Commissioners candidates David Plyler (incumbent) and Ted Kaplan, and Guilford County sheriff candidates B.J. Barnes (incumbent) and Berkley Blanks.

Plyler, Kaplan and Blanks have also agreed to participate in the debates. As of Oct. 20, Barnes had not announced a decision.  If Barnes declines to participate, Blanks, like Sharpe, will be interviewed in place of the scheduled debate. 

“The goal is to facilitate a non-partisan environment that features civic discourse on the issues that matter the most,” said Allan Louden, director of debate and associate professor of communication at Wake Forest.

Each discussion will be moderated by a WFDD staff member.  The moderator will ask all questions and raise topics, which will be formulated by the moderator or selected from WFDD listener suggestions submitted by e-mail.  Questions may be submitted by going to and clicking on the link for the Wake Forest Open Candidate Debate Series.  The deadline for submitting questions is Oct. 22.      

The debate program and WFDD have collaborated in the past to produce and host the 1994 debate involving candidates for North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District.

Press Contacts:

Maggie Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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