MOUNT VERNON — Several hot races are on the ballot for Knox County residents in the November General Election and the Mount Vernon News wants to help voters become more educated about the candidates.

An evening of political debates, in partnership with Mount Vernon Nazarene University, will take place Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m., in Ariel Arena’s Foster Hall on the MVNU campus.

The evening will include the following races:

•Knox County Commissioner — Bill Pursel, Republican, confirmed; Donald Bovinett Jr., Democrat, undecided.

•Ohio House 68th District — Rick Carfagna, Republican, confirmed; Kathleen Tate, Democrat, confirmed; Patrick Glasgow, Libertarian, confirmed.

•Ohio Senate 19th District — Andrew Brenner, Republican, declined; Louise Valentine, Democrat, confirmed; David Cox, Green, confirmed.

•U.S. House of Representatives 7th District — Bob Gibbs, Republican, declined; Ken Harbaugh, Democrat, confirmed.

Questions will be posed for each race, regardless of how many candidates participate.

A representative for Brenner said he was “not able to participate” and did not respond to the question as to whether or not a different date would work better.

Rachael Van Mersbergen, scheduler for Gibbs, told the News Gibbs would be in Washington, D.C., at the time of the debate.

“However, we are happy to review his district schedule and let you know of his availability,” Van Mersbergen said in an email Sept. 13.

The News responded offering to schedule a debate between Gibbs and Harbaugh at any date that would fit Gibbs’ schedule. No response has been received as of press time.

“We have always heard positive responses from the candidates when we sponsor debates,” said News Publisher Kay Culbertson. “It is unfortunate that we have candidates who fail to see the value in addressing important questions in front of their constituents.”

Questions will be asked by representatives of the News, WMVO/WQIO, WNZR and Readers may submit questions for any of the races to, by fax at 740-397-1321 or at 740-397-5333, ext. 248, by Sept. 28 at noon.

The event will be available as a livestream, and later on-demand, at


Samantha Scoles: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




Rules: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other commenters personally and keep your language decent. If a comment violates our comments standards, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member.