VOL. 125 | NO. 98 | Thursday, May 20, 2010
Gov Hopefuls to Hold Live TV Forum
By Bill Dries
The four Republican contenders for Tennessee governor will be in Memphis Tuesday for a statewide live television forum moderated by Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.
The forum will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at WKNO/Channel 10.
The Tennessee Public Television Council and the League of Women Voters of Memphis and Shelby County are sponsoring the event.
The 90-minute program will air on public television stations across the state and will include questions from the public. Questions can be submitted to TNdecides@wkno.org.
The event is the first televised forum to feature contender Joe Kirkpatrick.
The remaining three Republican candidates in the Aug. 5 primary, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Chattanooga Congressman Zach Wamp and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, have made dozens of joint appearances across the state since they entered the race in January 2009.
As the three have worked more in the past five months to define their own candidacies, there haven’t been many joint appearances.
“Races for governor are always important,” said Barnes, who will be joined in questioning the candidates by a panel of journalists from across the state. “But given the uncertainty in the economy, this race has special significance. Not only will the new governor be dealing with the hangover from the fiscal crisis, but – if the early signs of an economic recovery are to be believed – the new governor will also be guiding the state out of the current recession.”
No forum is planned in the Democratic primary for governor since Jackson businessman Mike McWherter is the only contender. The winner of the GOP primary will meet McWherter in the November general election.
“This forum will help illuminate the candidates’ positions so voters hopefully will be better informed,” said Michael J. LaBonia, WKNO president and CEO.
The forum will air again at midnight Wednesday. It will be repeated on WKNO on May 29 at 6:30 p.m. and May 30 at 2:30 p.m.