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Local, National Candidates Square Off at Stetson

Graphic design about voting As part of Stetson University’s continuing efforts to increase civic engagement and informed political participation, Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement and the Daytona Beach News-Journal are cosponsoring a series of political debates that will feature candidates for Volusia County sheriff, Volusia County council chair and Democratic candidates for the 6th Congressional District. The debates are free and open to the public.

All debates will be moderated by Pat Rice, editor-in-chief of the Daytona Beach News-Journal and begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd.,DeLand.

The first debate, involving candidates for sheriff, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26. The candidates: Wendell Bradford, Dave Brannon, Mike Chitwood, Eric Dietrich and Jim Gillum.

The second debate, set for July 28, includes candidates for the 6th Congressional District Primary: Jay McGovern, George Pappas, Bill McCullough and Dwayne Taylor. (The Republicans’ debate will be held at Daytona State College.)

The third debate, on Aug. 4, features Jason Davis, Greg Gimbert, Ed Kelley and Tom Laputka in the race for council chair.

The elections for sheriff and council chair are nonpartisan, so all voters registered in Volusia County can vote for those positions during the Aug. 30 primary election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two vote-getters for the position will advance to a run-off, held during the Nov. 8 general election. The race for the 6th Congressional District is different. Voting is partisan, so only voters registered with a political party are able to vote in their party’s election on Aug. 30.

Stetson students who wish to register to vote or sign up to vote-by-mail can visit www.stetson.turbovote.org.

“A healthy democracy requires informed and engaged citizens who understand the importance of using their vote to make the change they wish to see in their communities,” said Kevin Winchell, Stetson’s associate director for the Center for Community Engagement, who helped to organize the debates. “There are many issues at stake in these elections for county and federal offices, ranging from the economy to public safety to the environment to immigration. For that reason, Stetson University is proud to cosponsor these debates and increase the level of civil discourse to benefit the citizens of our campus and community.”

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