In the fall of 2016, IOPL hosted its first Hometown Debate series with televised debates for several Council of State races – Wilson (Lt. Governor), Asheboro (Attorney General), and Statesville (Treasurer). The debates were moderated by Kelly McCullen from UNC-TV.

We felt it was important to ensure that North Carolina’s smaller cities and towns were brought into the conversation about these races and their issues and concerns addressed. This was a very successful effort for us and for the communities in which we were located. Statewide television and radio coverage contributed significantly to this success.

As 2017 was not an election year for statewide offices, we chose the topic of NC’s public education system and hosted three debates, again, in our smaller communities – Rocky Mount, Burlington, and Newton. Panelists included NC State Representatives and Senators, as well as representatives from the NC Justice Center and the John Locke Foundation. The debates were moderated by Loretta Boniti from Spectrum News.

Our plan is to continue this very successful series in 2018, so watch for details!

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

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 NC tighten oversight of tax-funded charter schools and private schools? (Burlington)
NC State Representative Graig Meyer (Orange County, District 50), NC State Representative Jeff Elmore (Wilkes County, District 94)

NC IOPL Hometown Debates 2017

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)