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Election '96 Senate Debate to be Televised

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RALEIGH — April 22, 1996, 1 p.m.,EDTThe days of stump speeches and whistlestop train tours are long gone; election campaigns marked by phone-in, fax and e-mail are well under way. WRAL-TV 5 and the League of Women Voters will work with all the latest technology when they present Election '96 Senate Debate on Wednesday from 8 - 9 p.m.

Candidates slated to appear on the live program are Harvey Gantt, Ralph McKinney and Charles Sanders. Each hopes to be the one to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms in the fall elections.

The program is divided in four segments. The first features inquiries from citizens, the second consists of reporters' questions, and the third will offer a type of crosstalk among the candidates.

For the first segment, the League of Women Voters will screen the questions and prepare a final list from the inquiries received prior to air time. David Crabtree, WRAL's news anchor, will serve as moderator and present the questions to the candidates. Each question will be given to all the candidates, with one minute allotted to each for response.

In the second part, journalists will pose a question to each candidate, each of whom will have 90 seconds for an answer. The reporters will be WRAL's Jim Axelrod, WXII's Wanda Stark and WNCT's Roy Hardee.

In the third segment, each candidate will be able to ask one opponent one question. The question must be asked in 30 seconds or less, and the candidate will have two minutes to respond.

Each candidate will also have two minutes for closing remarks at the end of the debate.

Podium position will be determined by drawing of straws. Timekeepers will be provided by the League of Women Voters

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