MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG announced on Wednesday the mayoral candidates who would be participating in a televised debate on September 15.
Candidates Harold Collins, Jim Strickland and Mayor A C Wharton will participate in the debate which will be hosted by News Channel 3 Anchor Claudia Barr.
WREG’s Richard Ransom, Stephanie Scurlock and Zaneta Lowe, along with Commentator Otis Sanford will also act as moderators during the event.
“Seeing candidates side-by-side in a healthy exchange of ideas and perspectives, quizzed by news professionals knowledgeable about the issues we face in this great community, gives the public insight into how one would govern in the mayor’s chair,” said News Channel 3 President and General Manager Ron Walter. “In so doing, we achieve an important aspect of our duty as broadcasters in serving the public interest.”
“The political process and the opportunity to vote make America great,” said News Director Bruce Moore. “WREG believes it’s vital to be good community stewards and ensure voters make an informed decision.”
When asked why only three candidates would be participating in the event, News Channel 3 released the following statement:
“When you host an hour-long debate, in order to have a meaningful conversation on a variety of important topics, you can’t have every candidate on the stage. You have to draw the line somewhere. WREG has a long history of televising local political debates. We have always relied on pre-determined criteria to help us determine which candidates to invite.”
Here are the criteria WREG released:
- The candidate must have raised $50,000 in general campaign funds by August 1, 2015.
- Must have a campaign headquarters that is not the candidate’s household.
- Must have a campaign website.
- Must have campaign literature.
The candidates invited were the only ones to meet all of the criteria listed above.
The Mayoral Debate is set to air on September 15 at 6 p.m.