AMESBURY — Residents eager to hear directly from the two candidates for mayor will finally get their chance. Mayor Thatcher Kezer and challenger Ken Gray will take the stage in tonight’s mayoral debate sponsored by The Daily News and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Amesbury High School.
The much-anticipated debate is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Amesbury High School auditorium, and residents who can’t make it will be able to watch it live on Amesbury Community Television channel 12. It will also be streamed live over the Internet at http://amesburyctv.org/, and through The Daily News website, newburyportnews.com.
Mike Pomp, who works as the news director at WTSN AM 1270 radio in New Hampshire and hosts its morning “Open Mic” talk show, will serve as moderator for the debate, and the candidates are expected to answer approximately a dozen questions, including many submitted by the public.
The debate is formatted so that for each question, a candidate will get to answer, and then the opponent will have a chance to respond, and then the original candidate will get to rebut. Then for the following question, the other candidate will go first, and so on.
Audience members can also submit questions of their own at the debate. Questions will be accepted up to the start of the debate, and will be reviewed by an onsite panel for fairness. Residents watching at home or online can submit questions over Twitter using the hashtag #amesburymayor. Those questions will also be reviewed for fairness.
Toward the end of the debate, the two candidates will also have a chance to ask each other two questions directly, and then debate each other’s responses.
The marks the first opportunity for voters to hear directly from each candidate ahead of the Nov. 5 election, and it will also offer the candidates a chance to lay out their goals, question their opponent and share their vision for Amesbury’s future.