“Decision 2016: Before You Vote” – Rubio and Murphy Accept Invitation to Participate in Leadership Florida and Florida Press Association U.S. Senate Debate 

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the most closely watched U.S. Senate race in the country, Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association today announce that both Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Patrick Murphy have formally agreed to participate in the “Decision 2016: Before You Vote” debate taking place October 26 on Broward College’s main campus in Davie.

“The outcome of Florida’s Senate race could affect the future direction of the country, and 13 days before Election Day we know the eyes of the state and the nation will be on this debate,” said Wendy Walker, president of Leadership Florida. “We are pleased that both major parties’ nominees have committed so quickly to participate.”

Added Dean Ridings, president and CEO of the Florida Press Association: “The free exchange of ideas is at the heart of our system of democracy because it creates an informed electorate. This debate will provide an outstanding opportunity for Florida voters to see the candidates and understand their positions and their differences.”

The one-hour debate, to be produced by WPBF 25, a Hearst-owned ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, will be broadcast from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, through a “Before You Vote” network of television broadcasters in every one of Florida’s 11 media markets. The live debate broadcast also will be simulcast on Florida Public Radio member stations.

Moderating the debate will be veteran WPBF 25 News anchor and multiple Emmy Award-winner Todd McDermott, with a media panel still to be named.

The sponsors of the “Decision 2016: Before You Vote” debate series are Broward College, The Children’s Movement of Florida, League of Southeastern Credit Unions, AARP, Claude Pepper Foundation, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. One other potential sponsor is in talks with the organizers. Together, these organizations represent millions of Floridians and thousands of businesses and institutions vital to the life of our state.

In addition to WPBF 25, the “Before You Vote” statewide broadcast partners include: WJXX (CBS) in Jacksonville; WFTV (ABC) in Orlando; WTVJ (NBC) in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale; WFTS (ABC) in Tampa/St. Petersburg; WBBH (NBC) in Ft. Myers; WCTV (CBS) in Tallahassee; WMBB (ABC) in Panama City; WEAR (ABC) in Pensacola; WCJB (ABC) in Gainesville; and SNN-SunCoast News TV in Sarasota.

For more than 34 years, Leadership Florida has provided a non-partisan, non-parochial perspective about statewide topics of concern and opportunities while encouraging collaboration among the state’s leadership. Visit www.leadershipflorida.org to learn more. The “Before You Vote” series created by Leadership Florida is the longest-running statewide political debate project in Florida’s modern history. 

The Florida Press Association is a nonprofit corporation designed to protect the freedoms and advance the professional standards of the press in Florida, with a membership that includes most of Florida’s daily and weekly newspapers. Visit www.flpress.com to learn more. 

Broward College is considered to be among the top community colleges in the nation. Serving more than 63,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu

Wendy Walker
850-521-1220, ext. 103

Dean Ridings


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