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HomeNewsArchives'The Great Debate' Slated for Two Nights This Coming Week

'The Great Debate' Slated for Two Nights This Coming Week

Oct. 14, 2006 — Residents of St. Thomas and St. Croix will have a chance this coming week to hear from all of the candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor in the November election. The following week, St. Johnians will get the same opportunity.
The St. Thomas debate, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday in the University of the Virgin Islands' Sports and Fitness Center, is sponsored by the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce and the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association (HTA). The St. Croix debate, slated for 7:30 Wednesday at the St. Croix Educational Complex, is sponsored by the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce and the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association.
Each debate will cover various island-specific topics, as well as issues related to the economy in general.
Participants will include gubernatorial candidates John DeJongh, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Kenneth Mapp, along with their respective running mates, Gregory Francis, Cora Christian and Almando "Rocky" Liburd. They will have the opportunity to discuss their platforms and respond to questions from the audience, along with debating the issues.
"These debates allow us to get a collective idea of what the candidates feel are the important issues, especially as they relate to our industry," said Beverly Nicholson Doty, president of the HTA. "With the election less than a month away, these discussions may help voters to choose the candidate that will help the islands progress."
Joe Aubain, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber, echoed her sentiments: "The debates provide an opportunity for our membership to hear, and compare, the candidates seeking the highest office in the territory."
Diane Butler, St. Croix Chamber president, said, "Our purpose in cosponsoring these debates is to provide our members and the business community at large with an opportunity to hear firsthand what steps the individual gubernatorial candidates plan to take to create a more favorable business environment in the territory leading to business growth and expansion, more employment opportunities and a better quality of life for all Virgin Islanders."
Unlike many informal meet-the-candidates forums, organizers plan highly structured debates on Oct.16 and 18, according to a news release from Butler. A moderator will give each candidate and his running mate two to three minutes each to answer specific, prepared questions related to such business-related topics as economic development, energy costs and tourism.
Both debates are open to the general public and supporters of individual candidates. The St. Thomas debate will be covered live on Radio One AM 1000 and Public Broacasting WTJX- Channel 12 For information on St. Croix call 773-1435. On St. Thomas call the HTA office at 774-6835.
On St. John, the St. John Community Foundation will hold a candidate's forum at 7 p..m on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Westin Resort. (See St. John story "Residents to Probe Candidates on St. John Issues").
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