On July 17, Centre College, AARP, and WAVE3 News proposed hosting a debate between Kentucky’s two leading candidates for the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sec. Alison Lundergan Grimes.
We did so in the spirit of civic duty and guided by the counsel of Thomas Jefferson, who wisely stated, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”
Since then, we have worked tirelessly with campaign representatives to put in place a format for a civilized, meaningful discussion between the candidates to learn more about them and their aspirations for serving the Commonwealth and to get past the carefully rehearsed, contrived, and sometimes mean-spirited advertising that increasingly characterizes political campaigns these days.
Still, as the clock ticks closer and closer to the proposed date of Wednesday, September 3, we still wait for a “yes” or a “no.”
We applaud the recent announcement that the candidates will appear on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” on October 13 with Bill Goodman, a talented journalist and friend of Centre College, who recently taught a course on “Politics in the Age of Social Media” during our three-week January term.
Nonetheless, that interaction is not the same as what might occur at Centre in a mid-week network broadcast reaching all corners of the Commonwealth during prime time. Believing that additional face-to-face interactions, different in format, are better, we continue to work on your behalf.
Less than two weeks from the date we have proposed, we remain committed to providing the citizens of Kentucky with the opportunity to know the candidates better and make an informed choice. But we need an answer, and soon.
I invite those on social media to show support at #CentreDebate14. We also encourage any and all Kentuckians to post questions you would want the candidates to address on Twitter with this hashtag.
On your behalf, I say to Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes, we look forward to welcoming you to Centre College and the Newlin Hall stage at the Norton Center for the Arts, where other important debates have taken place.
Please let us know, yes or no?
John A. Roush, President
A LETTER TO KENTUCKIANS: President Roush addresses proposed U.S. Senate debate at Centre College