Congratulations to UMass Lowell for scoring a debate between US Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. No date has been set. The moderator will by David Gregory of NBC news and the debate will be co-sponsored by the Boston Herald. Here’s the UML press release that just popped up in my inbox:
LOWELL, Mass. – Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren have agreed to participate in a debate this fall sponsored by UMass Lowell and the Boston Herald.
David Gregory of NBC’s “Meet the Press” will moderate the one-hour debate, which will be held at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The date has not been set.
Gregory will pose questions to the candidates. Students from UMass Lowell will also ask questions from the audience. Students from other colleges and universities in Massachusetts will be invited to attend and participate, along with the public and other media organizations, including TV stations interested in airing the debate live. The public will also be able to take part in the debate via social media including Facebook and Twitter.
“We are excited to host this important debate between the candidates, especially because of the vibrant atmosphere that the Tsongas Center will provide,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “The event offers an important opportunity to educate and engage our students in the electoral process, as well as to bring the candidates to the people of the Merrimack Valley.”
“This campaign is extraordinarily important to the citizens of Massachusetts. The Herald is thrilled to provide an opportunity for voters – especially the young people at UMass Lowell – to hear firsthand a conversation about the issues that will have great impact not only on the Bay State but on the future of our nation as well,” said Patrick J. Purcell, publisher of the Boston Herald.
The debate will be presented through UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, which sponsors events and independent, nonpartisan public opinion polls on political and social issues. Through its work, the center provides UMass Lowell students and faculty with a variety of unique, real-world academic and research opportunities.
“The mission of the Center for Public Opinion is to advance understanding of government, societal issues and the political process, and to encourage civic engagement,” said Prof. Frank Talty, the center’s director. “Hosting events like this debate gives students the chance to participate in public discourse on critical issues facing our state and the nation, and gain valuable experience serving as panelists, focus group members and in other roles.”
Last October, the center and the Boston Herald partnered to hold the first debate in the Senate campaign and featured Warren and five other Democrats seeking to run against Brown. At that time, UMass Lowell and the Boston Herald also sponsored the first poll measuring a potential Brown-Warren matchup and a subsequent poll in December.
Meehan moderated the October 2011 debate at UMass Lowell. A former member of Congress, Meehan said when he stepped down to become chancellor of UMass Lowell that he would not endorse any candidate for public office and has not done so in the five years since.