Centre College Wants Answer on Grimes-McConnell Debate

The president of Centre College is asking Kentucky voters to help persuade Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Ludergan Grimes to commit to a debate at the school.

Last month, Centre partnered with AARP Kentucky and Louisville TV station WAVE-3 to host a public debate scheduled for Sept. 3. The group gave both campaigns a deadline before the Fancy Farm picnic, but neither side has provided a response.

In an Aug. 20 letter posted online, Centre College President John Roush said they are still waiting.

“Still, as the clock ticks closer and closer to the proposed date,” he wrote. “(W)e still wait for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’”

Located in Danville, Ky., Centre gained national attention for hosting two vice presidential debates on its campus with the most recent being during the 2012 election.

The Grimes or McConnell campaigns have not responded to WFPL’s request for comments for this story.

McConnell accepted an invitation to debate Grimes on KET in a format that will be televised statewide. It incudes a moderator, but no live audience.

Roush said the Centre proposal, with actual voters in attendance, provides the candidates with a different format.

“Believing that additional face-to-face interactions, different in format, are better, we continue to work on your behalf,” Roush wrote in the letter to the candidates.

“Less than two weeks from the date we have proposed, we remain committed to providing the citizens of Kentucky with the opportunity to know the candidates better and make an informed choice. But we need an answer, and soon.”

Centre is asking voters to support their debate proposal by using the Twitter hashtag #CentreDebate14.

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