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Bringing candidate debates to Duluth

It is an ambitious undertaking to schedule and host political candidate debates. The challenge is amplified when the debates involve high-profile, major campaigns for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Congress and the Minnesota governor. It was a challenging endeavor to have the candidate campaign teams agree to a time, venue and format for the debates.

I suspect these truths contributed to why there will be only one local debate between Sen. Al Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden. Likewise, there will be only one local debate between Congressman Rick Nolan, Republican challenger Stewart Mills and Green Party challenger Ray Sandman. Moreover, there will be only one local debate between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican challenger Jeff Johnson.

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and the Duluth News Tribune met the challenge of arranging for the debates. We are pleased and proud to be co-hosting these remarkable gatherings. We will do so at 8 a.m. on these dates:

- Oct. 1: U.S. Senate, state of Minnesota

- Oct. 7: U.S. Congress, 8th Congressional District

- Oct. 14: Minnesota governor

Earlier this month, the Chamber accepted registrations to attend the debates. Community members responded quickly to this unique opportunity to spend time with the candidates. We rapidly reached our attendance capacity. This strong interest in learning more about the candidates reinforces Duluth's reputation as a politically savvy and engaged community.

Fortunately, you can still access the debates. Local television stations plan to broadcast them and make them available to their viewers either live or recorded for subsequent viewing.

The Duluth News Tribune plans to record the debates and present them on its website. Additionally, statewide and local radio stations have indicated interest in broadcasting the debates.

The News Tribune, the Chamber and our friends from the local broadcast community are marshalling our resources to make these timely and valuable debates available to you. It is now up to you to access the debates through the News Tribune or the television and radio providers of your choice. Please watch for broadcast-related announcements to be made prior to the debates or inquire with your favorite media outlets.

This is an exciting opportunity to tune in and stay informed.

Editor's note: The Duluth News Tribune is a sister paper to the Budgeteer.

David Ross

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.