Candidates for California’s 26th Congressional District race will face off at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in an online forum hosted by CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and the League of Women Voters of Ventura County (LWVVC).
“It’s always great to team up with a local organization, especially one involved with education,” said LWVVC President Betsy Patterson. “Because the League of Women Voters is also involved in voter education, whether in person or using a Zoom webinar.”
CSUCI Associate Professor of Economics and Program Chair Jared Barton, Ph.D. and veteran moderator David Maron, who has moderated more than 200 such debates, are coordinating the forum for Democratic incumbent Julia Brownley and Republican challenger Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy. Questions will come from CSUCI political experts and the League.
“The questions will be kept secure from the campaigns and will not be revealed until the night of the forum,” Barton said. “We will settle on broad areas of policy concern. I think the most prominent issue on most people’s minds is Congress’ response to the pandemic and the economic fallout from both voluntary and non-voluntary life restrictions.”
Up to 3,000 members of the public can click onto the Zoom webinar on the night of the debate and watch Maron moderate as the two candidates field the questions. The recorded debate will be posted a few days later on the League of Women Voters of Ventura County (LWVVC) website.
Barton believes it’s fitting that an institution of higher learning like CSUCI co-host a local candidates’ forum.
“We are a state institution and nominally, one of the great rationales for public education is we want to create an informed citizenry for the purpose of voting,” Barton said. “We educate our own students in hopes that we make them more informed voters. But we can go beyond that by educating not only our students, but the citizens of the county by getting information from a candidate where the candidate does not solely control the message.”
Maron and Barton know that the nation is polarized at the moment, but find local audiences and candidates to be respectful and professional.
“Both candidates are intelligent and well-informed,” Maron said. “The League hosts candidate forums as part of our mission to inform voters about elections. As moderator, my role is to treat candidates fairly while they explain their positions and values to the audience.”
When the forum begins, Maron will welcome the candidates, who will enter an electronic “green room.”
Then, Maron will open the forum with a welcome from Patterson and CSUCI President Erika D. Beck, Ph.D., before the forum begins with opening statements from both candidates. The forum will last one hour and 15 minutes and will not be open for questions.
“We will be online, and I regret the public doesn’t have a chance to meet and hear the candidates in person. I miss watching candidates make their case directly to a room full of voters, but the online system works pretty well and will help voters decide.” Maron added.
The online forum is free and open to the public. To register visit: www.LwvVenturaCounty.org and click on the “Candidate Forums” menu item or the link. Scroll down to October 13 then click the REGISTER link. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a unique website address to use the night of the forum. This link is good for one device only. For more information contact via email DavidM@MaronSoftware.com or call 805-469-4900.