CWU News

Central Washington University to Host Televised Congressional Debate in October

Central Washington University will host a televised debate between the candidates for 8th Congressional District. The debate will take place in mid-October in McConnell Hall on the CWU campus.

The event is free and open to the public. Ticketing information will be announced closer to the debate date.

The debate will be broadcast on TVW (Washington States’ Public Affairs Network), KING 5, KCTS 9, KIRO 7, KOMO 4, Q13 FOX, online, and via local television stations to be announced later.

“CWU's position in the center of the 8th Congressional District makes it a perfect site for this important civic event," said CWU President James L. Gaudino. "The need for informed, civil discourse has never been greater and we're very pleased to be a part of it."

The Washington State Debate Coalition (WSDC), which is sponsoring the event, includes more than 80 news organizations, six major nonpartisan organizations, and 15 Washington state community colleges, colleges, and universities.

CWU's partnered with seven local organizations in its bid to host the debate. Partners included the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, Ellensburg School District, Kittitas School District, Thorp School District, Cle Elum-Roslyn School District, Easton School District, and Associated Students of Central Washington University. Gaudino said the participation of so many local partners indicates a shared desire to inform voters about the high-stakes 8th district race.

The WSDC weighed applications representing 18 organizations across the state. The organizations included urban and rural Washington collaborations among educational institutions, business organizations and school districts from eastern, western, and central parts of the state.

“We’re pleased and honored that CWU was selected as the host site for the debate,” noted Kremiere Jackson, CWU’s Vice President of Public Affairs. “Our application was well-received because of the large number of local agencies and organizations who agreed to partner with us and because we can offer facilities that can easily accommodate such an event.”

In 2016, the Coalition focused exclusively on statewide races. In 2018, the debates will include a congressional district with national importance and a limited debate history, according to, Diane Douglas, executive director of Seattle CityClub, which organized the coalition.

Other debate sites include Gonzaga University and Pacific Lutheran University, which will host debates between the U.S. Senate candidates. The debates will be held throughout the state in October and broadcast statewide by the coalition’s media partners.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,