Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio have announced the 2020 VPR–Vermont PBS Debates, a series of pre-recorded debates among candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and U.S. House of Representatives. The debates will be moderated by Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm during VPR’s program Vermont Edition and broadcast by Vermont PBS.
The debates will take place shortly after Vermont’s mail-in voting begins on September 21, and are scheduled as follows:
Thursday, September 24 – Governor
Recorded at 9 a.m. Broadcast at noon and 7 p.m. on VPR, 7 p.m. on Vermont PBS. Hosted by Jane Lindholm.
Phil Scott (R)
David Zuckerman (D/P)
Tuesday, September 29 – Lieutenant Governor
Recorded at 9 a.m. Broadcast at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on VPR, 7 p.m. on Vermont PBS. Hosted by Bob Kinzel.
Scott Milne (R)
Molly Gray (D)
Thursday, October 1 – U.S. House
Recorded at 9 a.m. Broadcast at noon and 7 p.m. on VPR, 7 p.m. on Vermont PBS. Hosted by Bob Kinzel.
Peter Welch (D)
Miriam Berry (R)
The public is encouraged to participate in the conversation and share their questions for the candidates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a text question or voice memo. These questions may be used in the debates.
After broadcast, audio recordings of the debates will be available at VPR.org, and video will be available at vermontpbs.org/vermontvotes.
“We are dedicated to providing opportunities for Vermonters to get to know the candidates for office, especially in a year when there have been fewer opportunities to meet candidates in person,” said John Van Hoesen, VPR’s senior vice president and chief content officer. “As we face many challenging issues as a state and country, hearing and seeing the candidates side-by-side is one way to help voters participate in the electoral process and strengthen our democracy.”
The production of joint debates marks a public media partnership between VPR and Vermont PBS that began during the 2018 election cycle and continued with last year’s This Land project, three wide-ranging public opinion polls and a series of 2020 primary debates. The two organizations announced that they will merge to form a new public media organization in 2021.
“Trusted information is important to voters and integral to a healthy democracy, especially in these uncertain times, and public media is proud to be part of providing that through these joint debates,” said Steve Ferreira, CEO of Vermont PBS.
All of VPR’s Election 2020 coverage, including a voter guide, interviews of all candidates running for statewide and federal office and national news from NPR, is at VPR.org/2020. Vermont PBS’ Election 2020 coverage, including candidate commentary videos, is at vermontpbs.org/vermontvotes. VPR-Vermont PBS Debate guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are available here.