Mayoral candidates to square off in debate

By Gus Bode

a href=””bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

Mayoral candidates to square off in debate

Flanagan and Cole take a stand on local issues


A new mayor will be elected to lead Carbondale for the next four years and Tuesday, the two candidates vying for that position will debate issues presented by four SIUC student organizations.

Mayoral candidates Maggie Flanagan and Brad Cole will participate in a “Face the Issues” debate 7 p.m. Tuesday at the SIU Lesar Law Auditorium.

The panel will consist of representatives from Black Affairs Council, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Council and the Daily Egyptian.

“These candidates will be the ones to decide how the city reacts to the students,” said Michael Rivers, president of the Black Affairs Council.

Cole and Flanagan will have two minutes to respond to each question presented by the panel and the order they address the questions will rotate each time. Jeff Williams, of WSIU Radio, will moderate the debate. It will last about one hour and about 15 minutes will be allotted for audience members to address the candidates.

City elections are April 1. The mayor will be one of seven voting members on the council.

Michael Jarard, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, said students should care about who they chose for mayor because the City Council often makes policy decisions that directly affect students.


“They need to hear the leadership at this upcoming debate because one of them will be the mayor,” Jarard said. “It is important to vote anyway. We have a change in leadership coming to the city of Carbondale. There are a lot of repercussions that will come on students.”

Political debates have become an engrained part of the American elections, and according to Mike Lawrence, associate director of the Public Policy Institute, they give a more in-depth view of the candidates.

“I think it is important to have serious discussion of issues. Many times all that voters know about a candidate is the sound bites they see on TV and quotes they see in the newspaper,” Lawrence said.

The Daily Egyptian and Undergraduate Student Government decided to co-sponsor this debate because there was not a forum set up where the two candidates would address questions at the same time. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

“It’s important that students vote,” said Egyptian editor Molly Parker, “but when students go to the polls, it’s just as important that they are informed. These candidates are asking for four years; we’re asking for one hour.”

Reporter Jackie Keane can be reached at [email protected]