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Candidates for governor to debate in Martinsburg tonight

September 22, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Tonight at Martinsburg High School, West Virginia's two gubernatorial candidates will have their first debate of four planned from now until the November general election.

Republican Monty Warner and Democrat Joe Manchin will begin the debate with four-minute opening statements at 8 p.m., said Kristina Grabosky, communications director for Warner. The debate is the only one involving the gubernatorial candidates scheduled for the Eastern Panhandle, she said.

The public is invited to attend.

At 7 p.m. Secretary of State candidates Ken Hechler, a Democrat, and Betty Ireland, a Republican, will debate.

Republican state Supreme Court candidate Brent Benjamin will be present and is expected to speak, but will not be involved in a debate, Grabosky said.

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Each of the debates is expected to last about an hour.

Grabosky said that for the gubernatorial debate, three panelists will rotate asking questions. The candidates will each have two minutes to respond, Grabosky said.

Questions from the audience will be allowed if time permits, she said.

Manchin is currently the Secretary of State, while Warner is a former Army colonel who owns a real estate development business in Morgantown, W.Va.

The candidates are vying to replace Gov. Bob Wise, who is not seeking a second term.

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