WTVM Editorial 9/16/17: Debate standoff

(WTVM) - The two Republican candidates to replace Alabama's Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate face each other in a runoff election on Sept. 26.

The short-term incumbent, Luther Strange, the man placed in office by former Governor Robert Bentley, faces former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Raycom News Network has invited both candidates to the only debate that would be broadcast statewide and streamed live.

So far, only Strange has accepted. Moore is demanding a debate in the Abe Lincoln - Steven Douglas style, circa 1858, in which one candidate speaks for an hour, the second speaks for 90 minutes and the first gets a half hour to rebut his opponent, all without a moderator.

It might have worked for Lincoln, but it's no longer 1858. A moderator needs to make sure both candidates are given an equal opportunity to address issues voters care about, not make grandstanding speeches on just the issues they favor.

Let's encourage both candidates to say yes to our debate invitation. Why does it matter? Because there is a lot at stake.

If you live in Alabama, and almost 45 percent of WTVM's audience does, then you need to hear from both Moore and Strange on:

  • Healthcare
  • Social Security
  • Immigration and DACA
  • Our mounting national debt
  • Tax reform
  • North Korea
  • And many more vitally important issues that will directly impact Alabama and the nation.

If you agree with me and want Mr. Moore and Senator Strange to debate, they need to hear from you. The runoff election is just days away.

To contact Roy Moore at click here. To contact Senator Strange click here.

Make sure you can evaluate the candidates for yourself.

Urge them to debate, statewide, live and in their own words. That would serve the voters.

Serving the voters should be an easy thing for both contenders to agree on.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

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Columbus, GA 31906

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