UMW to Host Virginia Senate, House of Delegates Debates
September 12th, 2023

The University of Mary Washington will host two public debates next month between candidates for local elected office.

Joshua Cole (D) will face off against Lee Peters III (R) for Virginia’s 65th District House of Delegates seat on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Later in the month, Tara Durant (R), Monica Gary (I) and Joel Griffin (D) will vie for the District 27 Virginia State Senate seat on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Both debates will take place at 7 p.m. in the Weatherly Wing (Room 145) of UMW’s Seacobeck Hall.

“I am delighted that the local candidates have agreed to participate in this important community service,” said Professor of Political Science and Center for Leadership and Media Studies Director Stephen Farnsworth, who will moderate the hourlong debates. “Candidates standing side by side to discuss current policy challenges provides vital opportunities for voters to compare the alternatives offered on the ballot.”

The debates are being hosted by Mary Washington’s Student Government Association (SGA). They are co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Free Lance-Star and the League of Women Voters of the Fredericksburg Area. Farnsworth, along with fellow UMW Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman, who chairs the department; WFVA Radio News Director Ted Schubel; and a representative from The Free Lance-Star will ask questions of the candidates. Audience members will be able to submit questions for consideration before the start of the events. Read more.

The University of Mary Washington is a premier, selective public liberal arts and sciences university in Virginia, highly respected for its commitment to academic excellence, strong undergraduate liberal arts and sciences program, and dedication to life-long learning. The university, with a total enrollment of about 4,000, features colleges of business, education and arts and sciences, and three campuses, including a residential campus in Fredericksburg, Va., a second one in nearby Stafford and a third in Dahlgren, Va., which serves as a center of development of educational and research partnerships between the Navy, higher education institutions and the region’s employers.