Pacific Lutheran University is set to host the only United States Senate debate in Western Washington this year, the school announced Monday.
Democrat Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Susan Hutchison are scheduled to participate in the Oct. 6 debate, which is free to the public. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Karen Hille Phillips Center on the university’s Parkland campus.
Tickets can be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis at tinyurl.com/WASenDebate. Some tickets have been reserved for PLU students, as well as the Bethel, Eatonville, Franklin Pierce and Tacoma school districts.
Attendees may submit questions to the candidates in advance at the ticket website.
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“Bringing our U.S. senatorial representative to campus is a really good opportunity for PLU and the local community,” Justin Eckstein, the school’s forensics director, said in a statement. “This part of Pierce County is something of a civics desert, and that lack of access leads to low voter turnout. Community members don’t really have any opportunity to meet with the leadership that represents them.”
Cantwell has been Washington’s junior senator since 2000, having previously served as a U.S. representative and an executive at Seattle-based software company RealNetworks. Hutchison recently stepped down as the chair of the Washington Republican Party to run for the Senate seat, and she worked for much of her career as an anchor at KIRO-TV.
The other U.S. Senate debate for this year is scheduled for Oct. 30 at Gonzaga University in Spokane. The events are put on by the Washington State Debate Coalition, which Seattle CityClub formed two years ago to boost civic engagement with political candidates.