PARKERSBURG - A debate between candidates for the U.S. Senate from West Virginia has been organized for 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at Shepherd University at Shepherdstown
Republican John Raese and Democrat Joe Manchin will debate in Reynold's Hall in a program sponsored by the university's MBA program. The debate will be part of Shepherdstown 250th anniversary celebration.
Raese runs Greer Industries in Morgantown, a family business with numerous holdings in steel, media and mining. He ran against Manchin, a former secretary of state and governor, in 2010 in a special election to serve the remainder of the term after Sen. Robert C. Byrd died in office.
Manchin and Raese will debate for 90 minutes. Cecilia Mason of West Virginia Public Radio will be the moderator.
"John is extremely excited," said Josh Sowards, a Raese campaign spokesman.
Raese will show that Manchin while saying he supports coal mining, does not through his support of Sen. Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, who once said the use of fossil fuels should not be used, and will show the profound differences between he and Manchin and will press Manchin about whether he supports President Barack Obama, Sowards said. Manchin is a leader in West Virginia and residents should know where he stands, Sowards said.
If You Go
Who: Candidates Joe Manchin and John Raese.
Where: Shepherd College, Shepherdstown
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 2.
Why: 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate
How: 304-876-5397 for tickets, limited availability.
"That's going to be key issue in this debate," Sowards said.
Manchin also wants to debate the issues, Manchin spokesman Kathy Cosco said.
"Sen. Manchin is looking forward to discussing the issues and his approach for bringing people together to find solutions to the problems that face the country and the next generation," she said.
The debate is unconnected to the debates the West Virginia Press Association is attempting to organize through member newspapers, said Don Smith, executive director of the press association. The association and the newspapers are working out dates and formats for debates, he said.
A second debate intended for Oct. 10 in Wheeling apparently will not be held, Cosco said. It is unlikely another debate will take place as the senator's schedule was built around those two debates and he has full schedule in October, she said.
J. Michael Myer, executive editor of The Wheeling Intelligencer, an organizer of the Wheeling debate, said the plans changed because of unavoidable scheduling problems. Myer was going to be the moderator.
"Indeed, there is no senatorial debate in Wheeling," Myer said.
It is unclear whether Bob Henry Baber, the Mountain Party candidate for Senate, was asked to participate at the Shepherd debate. Chip Zimmer, a professor in the MBA program at Shepherd and an organizer of the debate, was not immediately available for comment.
The Wheeling debate would have included Baber.
Manchin and Raese also debated in October 2010 in the special election in Morgantown where Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson and Constitution Party candidate Jeff Becker also participated.
At Shepherd, four people will be on the panel of questioners. They are Hans Fogel of WEPM Radio of Martinsburg, Mark Kraham of WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, Md.; Craig Bartoldson of The Journal in Martinsburg; and Heather Greenfield of the Shepherd University Picket.
Admission into the debate is by ticket, of which each person will be allowed two and a limited number are available at 304-876-5397.
The general election is Nov. 6. Early voting will be held Oct. 24 to Nov. 3.