Through its annual Hometown Debate Series, IOPL raises awareness of key issues by bringing newsmakers to communities across the state.

By partnering with Spectrum News, the Debate Series airs statewide multiple times each weekend following the event. Spectrum News Political Reporter and Anchor Loretta Boniti will return as moderator of the series again in 2021.

In 2021, the Hometown Debate series will return, focusing on issues related to Criminal Justice reform.

This Fall, our debate events will be recorded for television but will not be open to the general public.  View these events on their airdate at 12:30 pm and 8:30 pm. or online at:

The 2021 Hometown Debate Series Television Schedule

October 24: Capital Punishment- UNC Greensboro
October 31: The Role of a Prosecutor-Wake Forest Law
November 7: Police Reform- Wake Tech Community College
November 14: Juvenile Justice- NC Central School of Law

2020 Hometown Debates: Council of State Races

Lieutenant Governor (Concord)
Mark Robinson, North Carolina State Representative Yvonne Holley

State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Raleigh)
Catherine Truitt, Jennifer Mangrum

Commissioner of Labor (Goldsboro)
North Carolina State Representative Josh Dobson, Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes




State Treasurer (Sanford)
State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, Ronnie Chatterji




2019 Hometown Debates: Healthcare

Should North Carolina Expand Medicaid? (Lexington)
Former State Representative Nelson Dollar, Roy Lenardson (Foundation for Government Accountability) Wayne Goodwin (Executive Director, NC Democratic Party), Brendan Riley (NC Justice Center)

Healthcare Affordability and Access (Salisbury)
NC Rep. Carla Cunningham, former NC Rep. Bill Brawley, Jordan Roberts (John Locke Foundation)  Brendan Riley (NC Justice Center)

Issues in Rural Healthcare (Greenville)
NC Senator Jim Perry, NC Senator Don Davis, Tina Gordon (North Carolina Nurses Association) and Dr. Chelley Alexander (Brody School of Medicine)




Delivery of Medical Services (Henderson)
NC Representative Donna McDowell White, NC Representative Terry Garrison, Greg Griggs (NC Academy of Family Physicians), and Jordan Roberts (John Locke Foundation)




2018 Hometown Debates: Proposed Amendments to the NC Constitution

Should the process be changed to fill judiciary vacancies? (Salisbury)
NC State Senator Paul Newton (District 36), NC State Senator Floyd McKissick (District 20)
Wayne Goodwin (Executive Director, NC Democratic Party, Brent Woodcox (Special Counsel, General Assembly)


Should voters be required to present a photo ID before voting? (Washington)
NC State Senator Erica Smith (District 3), NC Representative David Lewis (District 53), Donald Bryson (President/CEO, Civitas Institute), Kareem Crayton (Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice)

Should an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement be established to administer ethics and elections law? (Clayton)
NC Representative David Lewis, NC Senator Dan Blue, Allison Riggs (Senior Attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice), and Dallas Woodhouse (Executive Director, NC Republican Party)




Should the income tax rate in North Carolina be reduced to a maximum allowable rate of 7%? (Gastonia)
NC Representative Kelly Alexander, NC Senator Dan Bishop, Chris McCoy (Americans for Prosperity), and Brian Kennedy (NC Budget and Tax Center)




2017 Hometown Debates: Public Education System

NC IOPL Hometown Debates 2017

Should NC increase the state’s role in financing local school construction? (Rocky Mount)
NC State Senator Rick Horner (District 11), NC State Senator Erica D. Smith (District 3)

NC IOPL Hometown Debates 2017

Should shared performance pay play more of a role in NC teacher compensation? (Newton)
NCAE President Mark Jewell (NC Association of Educators), NC State Representative Craig Horn (District 68)

2016 Hometown Debates: Council of State Races

2016 NC IOPL Hometown Debates - NC Lt. Governor

Lt. Governor (Wilson)
Former NC Representative Linda Coleman, Lt. Governor Dan Forest

2016 NC IOPL Hometown Debates

Attorney General (Asheboro)
Senator Buck Newton (District 11), Senator Josh Stein (District 16)

State Treasurer (Statesville)
Dan Blue III, Former NC Representative Dale Folwell