Belmont's Curb Events Center — location of one of three 2008 presidential debates — will host two debates ahead of this fall's gubernatorial election.
In a partnership with WSMV, Belmont University will host two town hall-style debates. The first, July 12, is four days before the early-voting period begins for the August primary. The second will be Oct. 11, two days before early voting begins for the November general election. Both hour-long debates will begin at 7 p.m.
Unopposed Democrat Mike McWherter and Republicans U.S. Rep Zach Wamp, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam have all committed to the July date. Haslam did not commit to participating in the October event.
Each debate will be one hour in length and follow a town hall format with citizens both within the venue and from across the state asking the candidates questions. Each debate will also feature significant social networking components to allow for even more voter interaction in terms of questions, comments and candidate feedback.