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Public political debates this month, LBC

political debatesAs part of Stetson University’s efforts to engage the community in civic-mindedness and the democratic process, Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement and the Daytona Beach News-Journal will be co-sponsoring a series of political debates featuring candidates for Volusia County Council. Both debates will begin promptly at 6:30pm and will be moderated by Pat Rice, Editor-in-Chief of the News-Journal. The events are free and open to the public.

(Pictured: Candidates for the 2012 County Council Chair election, who met at Stetson University for a debate co-sponsored by Stetson University and the Daytona Beach News-Journal in August 2012.)

The first debate, featuring candidates for Volusia County Council At-Large, will be on Wednesday, Aug. 6,in the Lynn Business Center Rinker Auditorium, located at 345 N. Woodland Blvd. Candidates for this position include incumbent Joyce Cusack and challengers Pat Northey, who currently represents County District 5, and Webster Barnaby, a Deltona city commissioner.

The second debate will be on Tuesday, Aug. 12, alsoin the LBC, Rinker Auditorium. This debate will feature candidates for Volusia County Council District 1, which represents most of northwestern Volusia County, including DeLand. Candidates for this position include incumbent Pat Patterson and challengers Andy Kelly, Voloria Manning and Ronnie Mills.

Positions on the Volusia County Council are non-partisan, so voters registered in Volusia County will have the opportunity to vote for these positions during the Aug. 26 Primary Election. In the event that no candidate obtains a majority of the votes cast, the top two candidates for the position will advance to a run-off election held during the Nov. 4 General Election. Stetson students who wish to register to vote or sign-up to receive absentee ballots can do so for free at www.stetson.turbovote.org.

“While national political campaigns tend to get the most attention every two years, it is our local, elected officials in our city and county who tend to have the most direct impact on our every-day lives,” said Kevin Winchell, assistant director of community engagement who helped organized the debates. “Our local issues primarily cover issues ranging from economic development and tax rates, to community redevelopment and environmental regulation. For that reason, Stetson University is proud to co-sponsor these debates and increase the level of civil discourse to benefit the citizens of our campus and community.”

For further information, contact Kevin Winchell at kwinchel@stetson.edu; or call (386) 822-8705.