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Update on Gubernatorial Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 24

Rocky Mount, N.C.— North Carolina Wesleyan College and the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce are preparing to host a debate for the state’s gubernatorial candidates in front of an audience at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24.  The two agencies, in partnership with WRAL TV-5 and Capitol Broadcasting, Inc., have arranged to televise a live debate between Democratic candidate Walter Dalton and Republican candidate Pat McCrory.

This exciting event will take place in the Minges Auditorium in the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC.  WRAL and Capitol Broadcasting will produce a one-hour, real-time broadcast of the debate to be aired throughout the state.

Although there is no cost, tickets are required and seating is limited to the capacity of the auditorium.   Individuals with reserved seats should pick up their tickets in advance from the Dunn Center Belk Box Office during weekday business hours of 10 am – 5 pm or at the Will-Call Window from 5:15 – 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening prior to the debate.

Dunn Center officials report that all reserved tickets have been distributed.   However, they anticipate some no-shows and will release those seats to others using a standard stand-by procedure.  They are committed to making sure all seats are filled and that everyone who wants to attend will have that opportunity.  They are encouraging individuals, who want to come to the debate but did not make a reservation, to arrive at the auditorium between 5:15 and 6:30 pm to receive a numbered Stand-by Reservation.

All reserved ticket holders must be in their seats by 6:30 pm.  At that time, vacant seats will be made available for those on the numbered stand-by list.  Individuals may not “save” seats, under any circumstances.

In addition, the Dunn Center has established an over-flow seating area in the Powers Recital Hall, which is a small auditorium within the same building.  People with stand-by tickets and late arrivals may be seated in this area as needed.  Although Dunn officials are making extra efforts to accommodate everyone, no one will be allowed to exceed the fire code or safety capacity of the building.

WRAL News anchors David Crabtree and Ken Smith, along with Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie will serve as moderators for the debate.  All are experienced moderators, who will explain the debate format to the candidates and the audience in the opening segment.  The public may submit questions online at prior to and during the debate.

Due to the nature of a live broadcast, the audience will adhere to strict guidelines to insure a smooth transmission of the program.  No banners, hats, flags, signs, or any item that could obstruct the view for others will be allowed.  Audience members may not stand, heckle, or create a disturbance of any kind.  No cameras (including cell phone cameras) or other electronic devices will be allowed in the auditorium.  Law enforcement and security personnel will be in place to monitor audience behavior.

The gubernatorial debate at Wesleyan is presented as a public service to the citizens of Eastern North Carolina.  The sponsors engaged in several months of intra-agency discussions and negotiations with the campaign committees to finalize the arrangements for the debate.

“We anticipate this will be the most watched debate of the entire campaign for the governor’s office,” said NCWC President James Gray.  “We are proud to have it on our campus and are grateful for the partnerships with Capitol Broadcasting, WRAL, and the Rocky Mount Chamber that have made it possible.”

Chamber Chairman Lige Daughtridge expressed the community’s enthusiasm for having a debate in the eastern part of the state.  He said, “This will allow us to have contact with North Carolina’s future leadership while drawing attention to our region and its role in the future success of the state.  As the hosts for this important event, we have a unique opportunity to showcase the Twin County area with its wonderful quality of life and strategic location for business development.”

Likely to be the final gubernatorial debate before the November election, the October 24 event at NC Wesleyan will allow the candidates to highlight their credentials and share their respective vision for the state.  Dalton is a Democrat and serves as the current lieutenant governor.  Republican candidate McCrory is the former mayor of Charlotte.

Media representatives, who wish to attend and report on the debate at The Dunn Center, should contact Ms. Leesa Moore at WRAL at 919.821.8750 or preferably by email at All media should enter the venue by the North Entrance, register at the media table, and follow the established media guidelines.  For additional information, contact Diane C. LeFiles, Director of the NC Wesleyan Office of Communications at 252-985-5141 or