Debate Guidelines

Invited candidates: Candidates who qualify to appear on the ballot are invited to participate in the debates.

Candidates Declining: Candidates who decline their invitation to participate in a debate will be represented by an empty podium.

Panel: Each panel is made up of one moderator and three panelists – all are working journalists.  Panelists make up their own questions to ask the candidates.


Candidates do not make opening statements but the moderator provides a brief introduction for each candidate.

Round 1: Each candidate is asked at least one question by a panelist.
Round 2: Each candidate asks at least one question to at least of one his or her opponents.  (Depending on the timing, candidates may be able to ask two questions each.)  Candidates have time for a rebuttal in this round.
Round 3: The panelists take turns asking a question to the candidate of his/her choice until time runs out.  The moderator determines when a rebuttal is appropriate.

Closing Statements: Each candidate makes a closing statement. 

Timing: Length of time to answer questions, give closing statements, etc. varies from debate to debate depending on how many candidates participate, length of debate, etc.