Central State to host Ohio U.S. Senate and governor debates

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Central State University aerials

Four U.S. Senate and Ohio governor debates will be held over two days at Central State University later this month.

Debates for Republican and Democratic candidates in each race will take place on March 28-29 at Central State University’s Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center. It’s the first time a major political debate has been held at one of Ohio’s two historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“Any time you can bring the political process to an academic environment, we have an opportunity to highlight significance of that process,” said Zillah Fluker, Central State vice president of institutional advancement. “Bringing such an experience to an HBCU not only highlights the African American experience with voting but also allows us to have a front row seat and access to candidates for Ohio leadership.”

The Ohio Debate Commission is accepting questions for all four Ohio primary debates. To submit a question for the debates, fill out the online submission form at ohiodebatecommission.org. The public can also request free tickets to the debates on the commission’s website.

Central State will also host a student panel discussion to kickoff the events March 15 at 11 a.m.

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The U.S. Senate Democratic and Republican primary debates are scheduled for March 28 and the Gubernation Republican and Democratic debates are scheduled for March 29.

The U.S. Senate Democratic Primary Debate will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 28. Morgan Harper, Traci Johnson and Congressman Tim Ryan are expected to participate and Curtis Jackson, news anchor at Spectrum News, will moderate.

State Sen. Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Neil Patel, Mark Pukita, Jane Timken and JD Vance are possible participants for the U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on March 28 with Karen Kasler, bureau chief of Ohio Public Radio & TV Statehouse News Bureau, to moderate.

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Rick Jackson, senior host and producer at Ideastream Public Media, is set to moderate the Republican debate from 11 a.m. to noon on March 29.

The final debate, Ohio Gubernatorial Democratic Primary, is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. on March 29. John Cranley and Nan Whaley are scheduled to participate and Lucy May of WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition will moderate.