WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Democrat Patrick Murphy and Republican U.S. Representative Allen West have agreed to a debate Friday, October 19 presented by WPTV NewsChannel 5. At this time, this is the only debate the two candidates have agreed upon, and it marks the third major debate involving WPTV.
The one-hour debate will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. from WPTV. It will be moderated by WPTV anchor/political reporter Michael Williams and include panelists from the Palm Beach Post and Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers.
The candidates are running in the newly-created District 18, which includes St. Lucie County, Martin County and the northern section of Palm Beach County.
"This is one of the most closely-watched races in Florida and we are pleased to present this to the voters," said WPTV Vice President and General Manager Steve Wasserman. "This will give voters a chance to compare the candidates as they confront the issues. We have developed a format that is informative for viewers while giving the candidates an opportunity to explain their positions on issues."
Under the format of this debate, the candidates will each be given one minute to answer a question. They will then have 30 seconds each to answer to answer a follow-up question. It's the moderator's discretion to then add follow-up questions.
WPTV also will be producing the U.S. Senate debate between U.S. Representative Connie Mack (R) and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D) Wednesday, October 17 at Nova Southeastern University that will be shown on television stations across the state at 7 p.m. WPTV's Michael Williams will be serving as moderator of the debate
WPTV is partnering with The Palm Beach Post for a debate October 17 between Lois Frankel (D) and Adam Hasner (R) in the contest for U.S. Congress in District 22. WPTV will have a representative on the panel asking questions of the candidates. This debate will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium at the Palm Beach Post.
All four of the debates will be streamed live on WPTV.com and in the NewsChannel 5 app for iPhone, iPad , Android and Kindle devices.
WPTV also will be having special coverage of the Presidential debate at Lynn University on Monday, October 22. In addition to its regular news shows, WPTV will have a special one-hour pre-debate show at 7 p.m. from Lynn University and another one-hour post-debate show at 11 p.m. WPTV will be anchoring its coverage outside the auditorium where the debate is being held.