The John R. Park Debate Society completed its 2018 Election Debate Series on October 16, 2018. The Debate Society again partnered with the ABU Education Fund, an affiliate of Alliance for a Better Utah, to host Utah’s only legislative debate series of the 2018 election cycle. This biennial debate series is an opportunity for leaders to engage with the public and express their views before the upcoming general elections.
Debates included the following races:
- Senate District 8 - Brian Zehnder and Kathleen Riebe
- House District 8 - Steve Waldrip and Deana Froerer
- House District 32 - Brad Bonham, Suzanne Harrison, and Bjorn Jones
In addition to these debates, the Debate Society and the ABU Education fund hosted a series of three panel discussions in cooperation with the Scholars Strategy Network. These panel discussions addressed three propositions on this year's ballot in Utah. Topics included:
- Proposition 2 - Medical Cannabis
- Proposition 3 - Medicaid Expansion
- Proposition 4 - Independent Redstricting
Josh Kanter, board chair and founder of the ABU Education Fund, made the following statement ahead of the planned debates:
“Robust political speech and debate is a key element of a well-functioning democracy. As more of our collective focus increasingly centers around presidential and national politics, the ABU Education Fund is committed to ensuring that our local and state politicians are provided a platform where their viewpoints can be heard and weighed by their constituents and we are excited to partner again with the prestigious John R. Park Debate Society of the University of Utah.”
Director of the John R. Park Debate Society, Michael Middleton, added:
“We are thrilled to again partner with the ABU Education Fund to host these debates. Not only do they provide an outstanding learning opportunity for the graduate and undergraduate students involved in their production, they also help to sustain the John R. Park Debate Society’s commitment to the role of open dialogue and debate as a cornerstone of democracy and informed political participation.”
For more information as it is available, visit the ABU Education Fund online.