Cockburn and Riggleman to debate

Contributed by University of Virginia news

The University of Virginia Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL), College Republicans at U.Va., University Democrats at U.Va., and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will co-host a nonpartisan debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates vying for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District seat in the November midterm elections.

Democrat Leslie Cockburn and Republican Denver Riggleman will face off on Friday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. in U.Va.’s Garrett Hall. The debate will be moderated by CEL Director Craig Volden and Batten School professor Gerald Warburg.

“The Center for Effective Lawmaking is delighted to co-host this debate, in order to facilitate dialogue, educate voters, build relationships, and learn more about our future lawmakers,” said Volden. “The Center strives to support all representatives who wish to become effective lawmakers, starting with their first campaigns for Congress and continuing throughout their legislative careers.”

The 5th Congressional District is of national importance in a midterm election year when control of the House is at stake. President Trump carried the district by 11 points in 2016 while Democrat Hillary Clinton won the Commonwealth by 5.3 points. Virginia has 11 House seats, four of which are currently held by Democrats and seven by Republicans.

“The University Democrats at U.Va. are excited to partner with the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Center for Effective Lawmaking, and the College Republicans to host the VA-05 Congressional District Debate between Leslie Cockburn and Denver Riggleman,” said Mary Alice Kukoski, President of the University Democrats at U.Va.. “We hope this debate fosters a lively, policy-focused discussion and encourages Virginians to vote come Nov. 6.”

“The College Republicans are pleased to be partnering with the University Democrats, the Center for Effective Lawmaking, and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy to facilitate this debate on Grounds,” said Robert Andrews, Chairman of the College Republicans at U.Va. “Our goal is to provide the students of U.Va. and the citizens of the 5th Congressional District an opportunity to see the dichotomy of ideas and positions between the two candidates running for office. Our organization is always ready to promote the exchange of free ideas between differing platforms and we are grateful to the candidates for their willingness to participate.”

The debate is free and open to the public but tickets will be required due to limited seating. The ticket request portal will open through the U.Va. Arts Box Office at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, and remain open until all tickets are distributed. Tickets will be required for entry, along with a valid government photo ID. Tickets may be printed at home or picked up at the Arts Box Office (located within the lobby of the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road) beginning Monday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 28 between noon and 5 p.m.

To foster widespread participation in the debate, any interested individual can submit questions for moderator consideration through an online question submission form until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27. Ticketholders will have another opportunity to submit questions in person prior to the start of the debate.

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