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CCU, FMU and Media General to sponsor series of political debates

January 6, 2010

Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, The (Florence) Morning News, WBTW News 13 and will sponsor a series of political debates during the upcoming election season. Two gubernatorial primary debates will be held in June. Nominees for state superintendent of education, lieutenant governor and governor will debate prior to the November general election.

Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primary debates are scheduled the week prior to the primaries on June 8 and will focus on the creation of jobs and long-term economic growth in South Carolina.

The debates will air live on WBTW News 13 and on Anchor Bob Juback will moderate both debates, which will feature a media panel as well as voter-submitted questions.

Francis Marion University in Florence will host the Republican candidates in a one-hour debate at 7 p.m. on June 1 at Chapman Auditorium. Coastal Carolina University in Conway will host the Democratic candidates in a one-hour debate at 7 p.m. on June 3 at Wheelwright Auditorium.

"Coastal Carolina University is honored to be a partner in presenting these important debates to aid voters in the decision-making process," said Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo. "We hope as many as possible will exercise their privilege as citizens of a free society and participate in these events."

FMU President Fred Carter said: This gubernatorial election will be one of the most important decisions that the South Carolina electorate makes this decade. FMU is proud to join with Coastal Carolina in hosting these debates and providing access to these candidates."

We are extremely pleased to partner with Francis Marion University and Coastal Carolina University to bring this series of political debates to the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. Its a reflection on the commitment WBTW News 13, the Morning News, and both universities have to support the communities we serve. The Democratic and Republican debates will occur days before the primary, which will allow voters to hear from the candidates on the most important issues, said Michael Caplan, general manager of WBTW News 13.

Morning News Publisher Mark Laskowski said, "The success of South Carolina's next governor will be measured in large part by how he or she leads the state to economic stability and growth through job creation and business expansion. Those measures are critical to future growth throughout the Pee Dee. The Morning News is pleased to collaborate with Francis Marion and Coastal Carolina universities, WBTW News13 and to provide Pee Dee residents with unprecedented coverage of these important gubernatorial debates."

Three additional debates for the general election will be held during the fall, including nominees for the governor, lieutenant governor and state superintendent of education.