Mayoral hopefuls to debate Nov. 1


Toledo Mayor Jack Ford and challenger Carty Finkbeiner will face off in front of voters on Nov. 1 in one last televised debate before the election.

The event is sponsored by The Blade and WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and will take place at 7 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.

The debate will be moderated by Channel 13 news anchor Diane Larson and broadcast live.

The sponsors and the candidates have already agreed on the format opening statements, questions by a three-person panel, rebuttal time for the candidates, and closing statements.

It will be a chance for voters to see where candidates stack up on issues. The election is Nov. 8.

It ll be the most important debate of the campaign because it s the last time voters will see them together, said Ron Royhab, executive editor of The Blade. The direction the city will be taken in rests on which of these candidates is elected.

Mr. Ford is completing his first term as mayor. Mr. Finkbeiner was mayor for two terms, from 1994 to 2002. The two were the top vote winners in the Sept. 13 primary.

Mr. Royhab said The Blade and WTVG have teamed up to host debates and town hall meetings for almost a decade. Those debates have included races for governor, Lucas County commissioner, and mayor of Toledo. The two media outlets have no formal or corporate relationship.

Mr. Royhab said it is common for a newspaper and television station to join forces to provide live community forums as a public service.

Admission to the debate is free, and tickets will not be required.

Registered voters are invited to submit e-mail questions to Web sites of The Blade and WTVG.

Panelists will be WTVG news anchor Lee Conklin, Blade city hall reporter Tom Troy, and Blade columnist Roberta de Boer.