News Release: Events, Politics

Oct. 8,  2010

Emory Sponsors Statewide Political Debate Series

 Fast-forward past the political commercials on local television and mute the attack advertisements.   

This month candidates for office in Georgia will debate the issues face-to-face in the latest annual series of political debates sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club ( and televised statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting. For the first time, Emory University will be a co-sponsor.

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 10 and continuing each Sunday evening during October, Georgia residents will have the opportunity to watch candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Attorney General and other top offices during the Atlanta Press Club debate series. The debates can be watched live each Sunday evening, and will be posted on the GPB website the following day.  

“As an academic community we believe strongly in the power of ideas and the importance of civil dialogue between candidates who hold opposing views,” says Emory President Jim Wagner.  “We are honored to be able to help support the electoral process in our state by underwriting these debates, along with the Atlanta Press Club and GPB.”

It is not the first time Emory has sponsored election debates.  According to John Engelen, Emory’s vice president of Governmental Affairs, last month Emory co-sponsored and hosted two debates: one on sustainable food policy among the candidates for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, and one among the candidates for state Attorney General.

“Emory has a tradition of fostering political discussion through debates on our campus,” says Engelen. “Our involvement is especially important considering Emory’s role as a private institution dedicated to serving the public good through research, teaching, and public service of many different kinds.”    

In recent election cycles Emory hosted an Atlanta Mayoral debate at the Emory Center for Ethics last year, and debates in 2008 for DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer and DeKalb County Commissioner for Super District 6, which includes Emory University’s campus. The DeKalb County debates were cosponsored with Emory’s Clifton Community Partnership. 

Emory sponsors and provides support for these events without endorsing any particular candidate or party. Engelen said it is important for all faculty, staff, and students to remember that University policies categorically prohibit the use of Emory funds, logo, or letterhead to support any political party or candidate.

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