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North Dakota Candidates Face Off in Debates

Before North Dakotans cast their ballots, AARP North Dakota wants to make sure they hear from candidates in all the major state races. (Chris Thomas)
Before North Dakotans cast their ballots, AARP North Dakota wants to make sure they hear from candidates in all the major state races. (Chris Thomas)
October 7, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. – The vice-presidential candidates aren't the only ones debating this week. Candidates for state and congressional offices also are facing off.

AARP North Dakota is sponsoring candidate debates for state and congressional offices during this stretch run to the November election, on Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Josh Askvig, AARP state director, said they want voters to be well informed when they go to their polling place.

"We know that one of the most basic rights as an American is the right to vote, and we want to make sure that individuals as they go to the polls and look at who they're going to cast their ballots for can be informed and educated on where the candidates stand on issues of importance to North Dakota voters, especially those 50-plus," he explained.

The candidates for governor will debate on Oct. 12; and the U.S. Senate candidates will debate on Oct. 28.

Askvig said AARP North Dakota is sponsoring debates for all major offices.

"And we're hosting a series of debates for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, the Governor, the Insurance Commissioner and Public Service Commission," he added. "And that starts tonight, where the U.S. House debate, amongst Kevin Cramer, Chase Iron Eyes and Jack Seaman, will be broadcast at 8 p.m. And then immediately following that, we have the Insurance Commissioner debate, with John Godfread, Ruth Buffalo and Nick Bata, broadcast at 8:30 p.m."

While there are a number of important issues, Askvig said they particularly want to hear from the House candidates about their views on the future of Social Security.

"We've launched our Take a Stand campaign, really focused at the presidential candidates and trying to establish presidential leadership," he said. "But ultimately, Congress will have to act, and so, we're asking the U.S. House candidates, as well as the U.S. Senate candidates, 'If you are elected and go to Congress, will you commit to taking action on Social Security in the next Congress?'"

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - ND