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Candidates to participate in several debates, next one slated for campus

September 29, 2000

’Tis the season for debating.

It’s a major election year, and the candidates in one of the nation’s most heated and tightest congressional races are plenty ready to talk.

State Sens. Dianne Byrum and Mike Rogers, vying for the 8th District seat, have already scheduled nine public forums - the first of which was Wednesday.

And the next will be at MSU. Byrum, D-Onondaga, and Rogers, R-Brighton, are scheduled to debate Oct. 9 at the MSU-Detroit College of Law.

“Mike is looking forward to the chance to defend his views,” said Sylvia Warner, a spokeswoman for Rogers.

While Byrum and Rogers have agreed on nine forums, each plans on debating even more. Rogers has agreed to one extra date while Byrum has agreed to take part in two extra forums.

Neither are confirmed.

“I’m ready to take on my opponent,” Byrum said Thursday while campaigning at MSU.

“Unfortunately some of the debates have fallen through, but we have both confirmed for several. They give the voters the chance to make up their own minds.”

Byrum and Rogers are vying to claim the congressional seat currently occupied by Lansing Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Spence Abraham, R-Auburn Hills, for his seat.

Being one of the most highly touted races in the nation, both candidates have drawn plenty of attention from the national media. The race’s outcome could determine which party becomes the majority.

Adam Clymer, a reporter for The New York Times who was at Wednesday’s debate and on campus Thursday, said he’s not sure who will triumph.

“The House is very narrowly Republican and this race looks like a toss-up,” Clymer said. “I don’t think I’ve figured out who’ll win. It’s so close.”


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