City to host gubernatorial debate tonight

Josh Coffman

Democratic nominee Ben Chandler and Republican nominee Ernie Fletcher will face off at 8 p.m. at Bowling Green Junior High School on Campbell Lane.

Western’s chapters of the College Republicans and the Young Democrats are both involved in the debate.

“For the students, it’s a great opportunity to participate,” College Republicans president Sarah Davasher said.

Davasher and Young Democrats president Chad Aull will each get to ask the candidates one question. Davasher said the candidates do not get to see the questions beforehand.

Representatives from WBKO-13 and the Daily News will ask the candidates questions as well.

“It lets people see that both candidates think Bowling Green is important,” Aull said.

Each group was given 350 tickets to hand out for the debate.

Davasher said about 120 of the tickets allotted to her group remained as of yesterday afternoon. She expects all of those tickets to be used.

Aull said his group was nearly out of tickets as of yesterday, but Democrats at Western interested in attending the debate should call him at 779-3231.

Tickets for Republicans can be obtained through the Warren County Republican Party Headquarters at 796-9027.

Aull said it was difficult to find an opening in the schedules of the two candidates for a debate in Bowling Green.

Chandler will be the featured guest at a barbecue hosted by the Warren County Democratic Party at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, across from Bowling Green Junior High.

Fletcher will fly here tomorrow evening after attending a fund-raiser in Lexington with President George W. Bush.

The debate is scheduled to last one hour and will be televised live on WBKO-13. Insight Cable will rebroadcast the debate periodically on public access channel five until just before Election Day.

Political science professor John Parker said the 2003 race for governor may be the closest the state has had in 30 years.

A state-wide poll published in The Courier-Journal on Sept. 28 showed Fletcher leading Chandler 44 percent to 43 percent, with 14 percent of respondents still undecided. The poll, conducted Sept. 19-24, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Many issues in this year’s election could directly affect students, Parker said. Tuition costs and Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship funding are key issues among higher education, and issues such as healthcare could affect students’ families.

“With the election still three weeks off, a lot of things can happen,” Parker said.

The election will be held Nov. 4.

Reach Josh Coffman at [email protected]