Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday | News

Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday

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Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Democratic challenger Charles Francis will tape a debate on Friday afternoon to be aired by Spectrum News.

The debate will have no live audience, but will air at seven thirty p.m. Friday and ten p.m. Sunday, the station said.
Mayoral candidate Charles Francis addresses supporters at a September rally on Glenwood South. - THOMAS GOLDSMITH
  • Thomas Goldsmith
  • Mayoral candidate Charles Francis addresses supporters at a September rally on Glenwood South.


"Spectrum News is committed to hosting a televised debate for the Raleigh's mayor's race," Spectrum assistant news director Walter Campbell wrote McFarlane during discussions on the program.

McFarlane, who is unaffiliated politically, ran some thirteen percentage points ahead of Francis in the October 10 balloting but failed to reach the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Francis, a Raleigh lawyer, has asked for a runoff, which will take place November 7.

“I look forward to the opportunity to discuss Raleigh’s exceptional success under my leadership, what we've accomplished when it comes to  housing affordability, transportation, sustainability, and citizen engagement, and how our city plans to continue addressing the challenges brought by success, so all our citizens have the opportunity to benefit from our community’s prosperity,” McFarlane said in a statement.

Spectrum's proposal calls for a Friday taping at the company's studios on Atlantic Avenue, with moderator Tim Boyum overseeing a thirty-minute exchange with no opening statements and ninety-second closing statements.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane addresses comments by challenger Charles Frances on Oct. 16, 2017 - THOMAS GOLDSMITH
  • Thomas Goldsmith
  • Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane addresses comments by challenger Charles Frances on Oct. 16, 2017
"Debates are important so that voters can better see the clear alternative that they have in this race," Francis said in a statement. "Mayor McFarlane has now agreed to a televised debate [in] the runoff election. I believe that this debate will point out the clear differences for voters to make an informed decision."

McFarlane had appeared in several joint forums with Francis but initially turned down a one-on-one debate.

On October 3, Francis issued a statement challenging the mayor to debate, part of his attempt to portray the incumbent as distant from her constituents.

“There is a pattern of Mayor McFarlane not being open to sharing our her ideas with the citizens of Raleigh," Francis said in a statement.

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