RINDGE — Franklin Pierce University is hosting a series of debates, starting tonight, for the upcoming state and national political elections.
The Monadnock Debates 2014 are set for today and Aug. 19 and 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Franklin Pierce’s Spagnuolo Hall.
“We’re the Monadnock region; we wanted to be sure that the citizens here had an opportunity to hear from the candidates,” said Kristen D. Nevious, director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce, which is co-sponsoring the event.
All candidates in contested races this November were invited to debate, she said.
Tonight’s debate will feature three of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates — Walt Havenstein, Andrew Hemingway and Jonathan Smolin.
The three are competing for the GOP nomination on Sept. 9 to run against incumbent Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan in the November election.
Hassan was invited to debate her Democrat opposition, candidates Clecia Terrio and Ian Freeman. Both Hassan and Terrio declined to take part in a debate, Nevious said. But because Freeman accepted the debate invitation, he is being given 10 minutes at the beginning of the first debate.
On Aug. 19, Republican Congressional District 2 candidates will take their turn. Three of the four candidates, Marilinda Garcia, Gary Lambert and Jim Lawrence, are participating. They are competing to run against incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Annie Kuster in November.
The third and final debate is Aug. 21 with five of the eight Republican candidates vying for the nomination as the Republican candidate to compete against incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Robert D’Arcy, Mark Farnham, Bob Hegmann, Andy Martin and Walt Kelly will participate. Candidates Jim Rubens, Scott Brown and Bob Smith declined to attend.
The public is invited to attend these free events. Seats can be reserved at franklinpierce.edu/debatetix.