AUSTIN EDITION Candidates, local issues to take center stage at debates

From staff reports

Candidates for city, county and state offices will debate the issues tonight and Thursday on KSMQ public television.

Each program will run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., with two one-hour segments of candidates from the same race, said Shawn Martin, a KSMQ producer and director.

Tonight's broadcast will showcase Austin City Council and mayoral candidates. Thursday's program will feature candidates for Mower County Board and the area's two seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Election Day is Nov. 2.

The first hour of tonight's broadcast is scheduled to include 1st Ward city council candidates Jeff Austin and Brian McAlister, and 2nd Ward candidates John Howe and Scott Pacholl.


The second-hour segment, beginning at 9 p.m., is set to include at-large candidates Pete Christopherson and Mickey Jorgenson, and incumbent Mayor Bonnie Rietz and her challenger, George Dahl.

The first hour of Thursday's debate will feature District 1 incumbent Richard Cummings, of rural Lansing, and his challenger Daryl Peterson, of Udolpho Township. It also is supposed to have District 2 incumbent Ray Tucker, a Dexter resident, and his opponent John Grass Jr. of rural LeRoy.

Thursday's second hour is scheduled to feature state House District 27B incumbent Rep. Jeff Anderson, a Republican from Austin, and his challenger, Jeanne Poppe, a DFLer from Austin. It also is set to have District 27A incumbent Rep. Dan Dorman, a Republican from Albert Lea, and his opponents Keith A. Porter Sr., an Independent from Albert Lea, and Jerry Kaphers, a DFLer from Albert Lea.

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring the forums and providing one of its members as a moderator, Martin said. The moderator will ask some questions, but the bulk of them will come from call-in queries, he said.

To pose a question to the candidates, call KSMQ at 433-0678 during the broadcasts.

KSMQ is broadcast on channel 12 and cable channel 15 in Austin.

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