From UDaily's article by Ann Manser, "Delaware Debates: Candidates for statewide offices meet in virtual format," published October 15, 2020
Photos by Evan Krape, video by University Media Services
Watch the videos—gubernatorial debate and U.S. House debate.
Candidates for governor of Delaware and for the state’s single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives answered questions and discussed issues in Delaware Debates 2020, a virtual event hosted by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication (CPC) and Delaware Public Media.
The hour-long debates were held on consecutive nights, beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 13, when the major-party candidates for governor, incumbent Democrat John C. Carney Jr. and Republican challenger Julianne E. Murray, met.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the major-party candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives faced off, with incumbent Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat, debating Republican Lee Murphy.
No session in the U.S. Senate race was held this year, as incumbent Democrat Christopher A. Coons said he was unable to participate in a UD debate with his Republican challenger, Lauren Witzke.
The debates, which have been a tradition every election year since 2010, are normally held on the UD campus before a large audience and broadcast live. This year, the event instead was livestreamed — with each candidate on camera in their home location and no in-person audience — to follow health and safety precautions during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Moderator Ralph Begleiter, the retired founding director of the CPC and a former CNN journalist, posed questions from a studio on campus, where he and the production staff followed careful COVID prevention guidelines. In addition to Begleiter’s questions, the candidates also fielded questions from Delaware Public Media reporter Sophia Schmidt and from several UD students and members of the public, who appeared via video.
Each debate was notable for its adherence to strict time limits for each candidate’s answers and closing statements and for the participants’ civility, with no interruptions or name-calling.