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Verbatim: Free tickets offered for Senate debate

Statement issued Tuesday:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Indiana Debate Commission is offering 891 free tickets for the second of its three U.S. Senate debates, which is scheduled at the Rhinehart Music Center at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus on Friday, October 22.

The 7 p.m. (Eastern time) one-hour live broadcast at the Rhinehart Music Center will be moderated by Jon Schwantes. Schwantes is corporate director of news convergence for the Dispatch Media Group, based in Columbus, Ohio. Schwantes also hosts "Indiana Lawmakers" and has been a regular panelist on the public-affairs program "Indiana Week in Review" since 1991. Both shows air on public television and radio stations across Indiana.

"Hoosiers have so far submitted more than 200 questions for consideration in these debates and more are coming in daily," said Dennis Ryerson, president of the commission and editor of The Indianapolis Star. "Media outlets statewide also carried the first debate giving voters ample opportunity in their hometowns to hear directly from the candidates."

Questions for the three candidates, Rebecca Sink-Burris, Dan Coats and Brad Ellsworth, can be submitted for consideration for the remaining debates at www.indianadebatecommission.com. Questions can also be mailed to the commission's Indianapolis office at 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, Ind., 46208.

Candidates are not provided the questions in advance. Those people whose questions are selected by the commission will be asked to join the live broadcast in Fort Wayne as commission guests and to ask their questions.

The commission also provides for a free satellite feed for broadcast outlets.

In Indianapolis, members of the public claimed 262 tickets in less than a week. Thirty media outlets, including C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., carried the broadcast of the Indianapolis debate.

"The commission is continuing to offer free tickets in Fort Wayne but we have a larger number to provide due to the size of the venue," said Tracy Warner, a commission board member and editorial page editor of The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. "Public interest remains high in this race across the state."

Fort Wayne debate tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Only two tickets will be allowed per person. No group tickets will be accommodated.

The Fort Wayne locations and hours for ticket distribution starting today include:

Rhinehart Music Center at IPFW

2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.

12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

(Free 10-minute parking is available in front of Rhinehart and in Lot 16. The best entrance is from St. Joe Road to Broyles Boulevard.)

IPFW Information Desk at Kettler Hall

2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday

(Kettler Hall is the first building off the campus entrance at Coliseum and Anthony boulevards. Metered parking is in front of the building.)

Fort Wayne Newspapers

600 W. Main St.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

(Enter at the front of the building. There is free parking in the visitor lot on the east side of the venue off of Fulton Street.)

The commission's last debate is scheduled in Vincennes on Monday, October 25, at 8 p.m. Eastern time/7 p.m. Central time.

Local tickets will be distributed in that area prior to the debate.

About the Indiana Debate Commission

The Indiana Debate Commission is a non-partisan, statewide group representing 13 citizen and media affiliates dedicated to promoting debates at the state level. The volunteer commission, which incorporated in 2007 and is organized as a 501c3, works with candidates, sponsors, venues and citizen groups to promote open, unbiased and transparent debates for Hoosier voters. For more information visit: www.indianadebatecommission.com

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