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Boys State to host GOP, Democratic gubernatorial debates Tuesday, Wednesday

From Left to Right, Evangelist Scott Dawson, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and state Sen. Bill Hightower are particpants in tonight's debate. (Photos per the candidates' individual campaigns and the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association)

The American Legion Boys State program will hold two gubernatorial primary debates this week beginning Tuesday night on the campus of the University of Alabama.

Boys State will host a debate for the Republican gubernatorial candidates on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 7 p.m. at Morgan Hall Auditorium. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, State Sen. Bill Hightower and Birmingham evangelist Scott Dawson have accepted the organization’s invite to participate.

Gov. Kay Ivey — who has not participated in any gubernatorial debates so far — has not accepted the invitation. Ivey, who is seeking a full term as Alabama governor, has faced criticism for declining numerous debate invitations.

Democratic candidates Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, former State Rep. James Fields and Christopher Countryman are expected to participate in the Democratic debate scheduled for Wednesday, May 30, at 7 p.m.

The debates will be live-streamed on the Alabama Boys State Facebook and Twitter pages and will be posted on YouTube.

WIAT-TV CBS 42 in Birmingham, WKRG in Mobile, WDHN in Dothan, WZDX in Huntsville and WRBL in Columbus, Georgia, will also stream the debates beginning at 7 p.m. each day.

The debate moderator is CBS 42’s Art Franklin, an Emmy Award-winning anchor. Panelists include Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former editorial writer for The Birmingham News who writes for the Alabama Political Reporter and B-Metro Magazine; Tom Gordon, a former Birmingham News and Anniston Star writer who is now a writer and editor with B-Metro Magazine and Birmingham Watch; and Reshad Hudson, CBS 42’s Montgomery Reporter.

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Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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