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St. Petersburg City Council committee wants to air local debates

ST. PETERSBURG — Local candidate debates could soon air on the city's television channel.

A City Council committee directed staff on Thursday to figure out how to broadcast a local debate. The live event would give voters the chance to learn about candidates from an unfiltered forum, council member Karl Nurse said.

Most Pinellas County governments with television stations broadcast debates before an election, according to the local League of Women Voters.

In St. Petersburg, city officials have debated how to promote local elections through its television channel since last fall, after a low-profile council primary drew few voters.

At the time, the council directed city staff to televise a local debate, but Mayor Rick Baker said there wasn't time to devise a fair system before the general election in November. The council agreed to take up the issue in a non-election year.

With the next city election more than a year away, Nurse said city staff should have time to figure out how to broadcast a live debate this time. Baker said he isn't opposed to the idea.

St. Petersburg City Council committee wants to air local debates 07/24/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 26, 2008 2:16pm]
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