Candidates competing for the office of Alabama attorney general will be on campus Thursday fielding questions from UA students and staff about their beliefs and campaigns.
The Honors College Lecture Series and the UA School of Law organized the public debate, which will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center.
Michael Forst, who will be moderating the debate, said that the forum would be a mixed format, with videos of questions from students being played for the candidates.
“We hope the event gives students and the Tuscaloosa community the opportunity to hear from frontrunners for the position about items facing the state,” Forst said. “The interactive format will help all those in attendance truly learn and get to know the candidates.”
In what is shaping up to be a close race, Forst said the candidates would field questions ranging from legalized gambling and the governor’s task force to the role of the attorney general.
Current state Attorney General Troy King, who is seeking reelection, will not be in attendance, citing a conflict in scheduling. Democrats Giles Perkins and James Anderson, along with King’s most outspoken opponent, Republican Luther Strange, will all participate in the public debate.
Since announcing his campaign in May, Strange has been on the attack against King. He has criticized King’s actions in response to Gov. Bob Riley’s task force, which attempted to shut down bingo casinos statewide and said King has not enforced the rule of law while in office.
A recent poll conducted by Public Strategy Associates, an Alabama-based political firm, found that King had a narrow lead over Strange.
Matthew May, a member of the Honors College Lecture Series committee and a senior majoring in biology and political science, said the forum would be a modern twist on a traditional form of debate so that students who may not be as well informed as others can still participate.
“While this race may not be the largest executive race taking place in Alabama this year, it is easy to get interested in,” May said. “The race for attorney general is controversial and important to people of all ages, and this event will help give students a direct way to take interest in it.”
Students interested in submitting questions for the debate should visit http://bit.ly/d4Z3xD and read the rules and regulations portion of the Web site.
Questions will be accepted up until the candidates take the stage Thursday. A table will also be set up at the event allowing those in attendance who did not submit questions to the Web site to post additional questions.