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Hudson mayoral candidates debate tonight

May 16, 2019 8:00 am

Candidates in the Democratic primary for mayor of Hudson, incumbent Rick Rector and 1st Ward Alderman Kamal Johnson, face off in a debate, Thu., May 16 in the auditorium of M.C. Smith Elementary School. According to a press release from debate sponsors, Indivisible CD 19, Rector and Johnson "will offer their visions for the future of the city," during the 90-minute event. The extensive rules of engagement for the exchange were negotiated and agreed to by both campaigns over the course of several meetings this month. The terms included admissions ticketing, moderator selection, the length of the opening and closing statements, the number of questions to be asked and if rebuttals would be permitted, the criteria for the questions chosen, the stage setup and more. Under the rules and guidelines, attendees have been directed to register in advance via eventbrite [dot] com. No provision for advanced, in-person registration was provided. Those who register in advance will receive priority seating, and the "non-ticketed will be accommodated and seated in an appropriate area." The candidate exchange will consist of 10 questions, "time permitting," two from each moderator, leaving the balance to be submitted in advance from "Hudson residents, property owners and business owners." Not all questions will be directed to both candidates. The criteria for the questions selected "will be identified with the moderators and facilitators, based on clarity, transparency, parity and redundancy." Rector and Johnson are prohibited from bringing notes. The sources of the questions asked will be available to both campaigns following the debate. Rector is serving his first two-year term as mayor, having run unopposed in 2017. Johnson is serving his first term as the First Ward representative to the Common Council. The event will be moderated by Mary Dempsey of Columbia-Greene Media, and Parry Teasdale of The Columbia Paper, and live streamed on WGXC-FM beginning at 6 p.m.

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