York County Young Democrats to host first debate

Maria Yohn
York Dispatch

Candidates for three contested Democratic primary races have been invited to participate in a debate night scheduled for Thursday, April 26. 

The event will be the first organized by the York County Young Democrats, who were  chartered in September 2017. Tickets are free, and the event will be at Marketview Arts, 35 W. Philadelphia St. in York.

The York County Young Democrats are hosting a debate featuring candidates from three contested races in the upcoming May 15 primary.

YCYD founder and event moderator Shane Cannon Coolbaugh says the event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature three separate debates between Democratic candidates running for the state's 28th Senate District, the office of lieutenant governor and Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District. 

Tickets can be reserved beginning April 1, and questions for the candidates are now being accepted at the organization's website, YCYD.org.

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The event will begin with a debate between the candidates running for the state Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, who is vacating it to run for governor.

Next, a forum-style debate will be held for the lieutenant governor candidates, as there are fewer policy issues at play in that position, Coolbaugh said. 

The evening will be rounded out by a debate between candidates for the 10th Congressional District, currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Dillsburg.

Each debate is slated for 45 minutes, with 15-minute breaks in-between. Debate rules have been established allowing the candidates a two-minute introduction, 90 seconds for answers, one minute for rebuttals and a two-minute concluding statement.

At this point, Coolbaugh said it is unclear if questions from attendees will be accepted at the event because of time constraints.

"It could get too chaotic," he said. 

However, a planning committee of individuals who are unaffiliated with any of the campaigns has been established, he said. The committee is putting together an outline of topics and questions, but Coolbaugh remains hopeful that they will receive more questions from the public so the discussions are guided by public interests.

"We really want as much input from the public as possible," he said. 

The following candidates have confirmed their appearances at the debate:

28th Senate District: Shawn Mauck and Judy Higgins.

Lieutenant governor: John Fetterman, Craig Lehman, Raymond Sosa and Aryanna Berringer.

10th Congressional District: Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson, George Scott, Alan Howe and Eric Feigl-Ding.

Responses are pending from incumbent Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and congressional candidates Sheila Dow Ford and Christina M. Hartman.

The organization's Facebook event page will be updated as more information becomes available, Coolbaugh said. 

The 2018 primary election will be held May 15.