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WITF and a historic coalition to host debates for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate primary races

As a founding member of Spotlight PA, WITF is joining with an unprecedented coalition of major media companies and leading colleges in Pennsylvania to announce dates for two “Pennsylvania in the Spotlight” U.S. Senate debates leading up to the May 17 primary.

Central to Spotlight PA’s mission is informing, equipping, and empowering voters in Pennsylvania to make educated decisions at the polls, and that includes subjecting any candidate for higher office to tough, nonpartisan questioning about their record and their vision.

A Democratic U.S. Senate debate will be held at 7 p.m. April 25 at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and will feature candidates Kevin Baumlin, John Fetterman, Malcolm Kenyatta, Alexandria Khalil, and Conor Lamb.

A Republican U.S. Senate debate will be held the following night, April 26, at the same time and location and will feature Kathy Barnette, Jeff Bartos, George Bochetto, Sean Gale, and Carla Sands. Other candidates may be added.

The debates are hosted by Spotlight PA and its founding members — The Philadelphia Inquirer, Trib Total Media, PennLive/The Patriot-News, and WITF — in conjunction with Dickinson College, the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, and PCN.

The events will be broadcast statewide by PCN and livestreamed online. They will be held before a live audience, but due to COVID-19 precautions and security protocols, they will not be open to the general public.

The 90-minute format will feature WITF’s Scott LaMar, host of Smart Talk, as the moderator with questions from veteran journalists from the host news organizations. The campaigns had no role in determining the panelists or the topics, and the organizations applaud their willingness to face questions and address voters without preconditions.

Be sure to follow WITF’s comprehensive election coverage before and after the debates on and on air at 89.5 FM and 93.3 FM in Chambersburg and 99.9 FM in Lancaster City.

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