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Local Youth to Lead First Oregon Gubernatorial Debate

Kate Brown, Knute Beuhler and Patrick Starnes will face questions on-air and online from a panel of exceptional young people — including a Medford native.

Posted: Sep. 28, 2018 3:21 PM
Updated: Sep. 28, 2018 4:49 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — For the first time in the 2018 gubernatorial elections, the three major party candidates will debate on pressing issues all in one place, facing questions from some of Oregon's future leaders. The debate takes place on October 2 from 7-8 p.m.

Included in the debate will be incumbent Governor Kate Brown (D), and challengers Representative Knute Buehler (R) and Patrick Starnes (I).

"The Debate for Oregon's Future" features questions for all three candidates posed by more than a dozen young people between the ages of 12 and 19, hailing from eight different cities. One of them is 18-year-old Brian Josephson of Medford.

“Students and youth of all backgrounds are seeing the importance of politics, and are getting involved in the process in hopes of making a difference,” said 17-year old Amelia Ernst, who is a member of the steering committee for the debate. “This event is the perfect opportunity for youth to question their politicians and have their voice heard on the issues that matter to them.”

Journalists are helping to facilitate the event, which is organized by Children First for Oregon, but all of the questions will come from the selected youth panelists.

“The stakes in the governor’s race are very high for Oregon’s youth,” said Sharon Soliday, board chair of Children First for Oregon. “Children don’t have a vote - but we will give them a voice in the 2018 election on economic security, health care, safety, education, and other issues they face.”

NewsWatch 12 will carry the debate in its entirety on "KDRV Classics" - Antenna TV. Just tune in to channel 12.3 over-the-air and on Ashland Home Net, Charter channel 189, or Northland Cable channel 137 or 112.

The debate will also be streaming live on

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