In the most closely watched governor’s race in the country, Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association today announced significant progress and new details for “Decision 2014: Before You Vote,” the LIVE statewide televised debate scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, October 15, from the campus of Broward College.
The one-hour debate, to be produced by WFOR-TV/CBS4, the Miami-Dade/Broward region’s CBS affiliate, will be broadcast from 7 – 8 p.m. EST, through a “Before You Vote” network of 11 major commercial broadcast organizations, most of which are the leaders in their markets, and will ensure that the entire state of Florida is blanketed with live coverage.
Formal invitations have been sent to leading major party contenders, Gov. Rick Scott (R) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D), both of whom have previously participated in debates produced by the partnership of Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. Invitations have also been sent to Democratic candidate Nan Rich and Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. The candidates have been advised that participation in the debate will be determined by meeting criteria that will be announced at a later date.
“We’re proud to produce this important dialogue between the top contenders vying to be Florida’s next governor,” said David Armstrong, chairman of Leadership Florida and president of Broward College, which was selected to host the debate. “This debate will help millions of voters learn more about who these candidates are and where they stand on the issues that affect Floridians the most.”
David Dunn-Rankin, chairman of the Florida Press Association and publisher of the Charlotte Sun, said the debate offers Floridians the opportunity to know more about the candidates – and it supports Florida newspapers’ goal of providing their audiences with relevant information that impacts their lives.
Millions of Floridians are expected to watch the debate and follow the subsequent news reports. The program also will be live-streamed on the website beforeyouvote.org, and is expected to be rebroadcast nationally by C-SPAN.
Broadcast partners include: WFOR-TV/CBS4 (in the South Florida region of Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties); WFTV-TV/Ch. 9 (ABC) in Orlando; WJXT-TV/Ch. 4 in Jacksonville; WPBF-TV/Ch. 25 (ABC) in West Palm Beach; WFTS-TV/Ch. 28 (ABC) in Tampa/St. Petersburg; WCTV-TV/Ch. 6 (CBS) in Tallahassee; WMBB-TV/Ch. 13 (ABC) in Panama City; WBBH-TV/Ch. 2 (NBC) in Ft. Myers; WEAR-TV/Ch. 3 (ABC) in Pensacola; WCJB DT2 (CW) Gainesville; and SunCoast News Network in Sarasota. This debate is expected to have the largest audience of any 2014 Florida debate.
The sponsors for the “Decision 2014: Before You Vote” debate series are Broward College, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents/Trusted Choice, AARP, the Florida League of Cities, the Claude Pepper Center and Foundation, and Florida Credit Unions. Together, these organizations represent millions of Floridians and thousands of businesses and institutions vital to the life of our state.
For the October 15 debate, candidates will respond to questions from a panel of Florida journalists, including moderator/WFOR anchor Eliott Rodriguez, with additional insight and questions provided by a panel from Florida’s newspapers.
For more than 32 years, Leadership Florida has provided a non-partisan, non-parochial perspective about statewide topics of concern and opportunities while encouraging collaboration among the state’s leadership.
The Florida Press Association is a nonprofit corporation designed to protect the freedoms and advance the professional standards of the press in Florida, with a membership that includes most of Florida’s daily and weekly newspapers.
Broward College is ranked as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. Serving more than 68,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.