A debate scheduled for tonight (Oct. 2) in Murphy between Rep. Heath Shuler and challenger Carl Mumpower has been cancelled while Shuler stays in Washington to vote again on a proposed $700 billion bailout for the ailing financial industry. However, both men have agreed to appear jointly for a debate in late October on WWNC-570 AM.
Mumpower has been highly critical of Shuler for “ducking an adult debate,” though he said he understands the need for Shuler to go back to Washington to vote on the bailout package, which both men oppose. The radio debate, which will allow access to other media, “is better than nothing,” Mumpower tells Xpress, “but it’s a token effort on his part.” Mumpower says he agreed to the WWNC debate, only because other media will be invited.
The debate will cap off a three-day look at the 11th District Congressional candidates on the radio station. According to Take a Stand! host Matt Mittan, who will moderate the debate on his show (which airs 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays), Mumpower will appear alone with Mittan on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 4 to 5 p.m., to take listener questions. The following day at the same time, Shuler will repeat the same process. That culminates in the debate on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. as both men sit down with Mittan for a formal debate, which will include questions from listeners in the show’s final hour.
For his part, says Mittan, “I’m going to focus to the issues that each campaign has made a priority, and just give them an opportunity to contrast each other’s priorities and where their differences lie.”
For a full story, see the Oct. 8 edition of Xpress.
— Hal L. Millard, staff writer