by Max Brantley
What a weekend. Football in Dallas. Cheese dip in North Little Rock. Blues in Helena.
And, right here, the line is ALWAYS open.
NEWS NOTE: 400 layoffs at Trane and Whirlpool in Fort Smith.
ALSO IN FORT SMITH: Details announced of a 3rd District congressional debate Oct. 21 between Democrat David Whitaker and Republican Steve Womack
ALSO: The state GOP gets a hearing at 9 a.m. Monday on a request for an injunction over the cars being driven by constitutional officers and the House speaker. They want log books kept, by God, or for personal use to stop. I want the plaintiff to check and see if his taxes are up to date.
FORT SMITH, ARK. — Progressive Arkansas (www.progressivearkansas.com) announced today that it will host a debate between David Whitaker and Steve Womack in the U.S. House 3rd Congressional District election. The debate will take place on Thursday, October 21st at 7 pm, and will be held at the Fort Smith Convention Center. It will be open to the public.
The debate will be moderated by Dr. Robert Willoughby, a history and political science professor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Progressive Arkansas will invite four news organizations to submit questions for each of the candidates. The candidates will also have the opportunity to ask each other one question, and at least two questions will come from the audience. With each question, the first candidate will have two minutes to respond. The second candidate will then have one minute for rebuttal, followed by the first candidate having another thirty seconds for rebuttal. Questions will not be given to the candidates prior to the debate.
At the end of the evening, the audience will be polled on who won the debate. Progressive Arkansas will then count the votes and release the results on its website the following morning.
Whitaker, the former assistant city attorney for the City of Fayetteville, is running as a Democrat for the Congressional seat, and was unopposed in the primary election. Womack, the mayor of Rogers, earned the GOP nomination by finishing first in an eight-person primary and then narrowly defeating state Senator Cecile Bledsoe in the June runoff. Unlike in the other three Congressional districts and the U.S. Senate race, no third-party candidates are running for the seat.
Progressive Arkansas is a Fort Smith-based news organization that reports on government in Arkansas. It produces a free monthly magazine and also publishes articles daily in its online newsroom (www.progressivearkansas.com).