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The Call staff
In an effort to allow voters to better understand each mayoral candidateâ€™s stance on the issues facing the city and its residents, The Call will sponsor a mayoral debate on Friday, Oct. 4, from 7-9 p.m. in the City Council chambers.
The debate panel will include: Call reporter Russ Olivo; The Call and The Times' political reporter and columnist Jim Baron; Roger Bouchard, owner of WNRI radio; and a representative of WOON radio. Call Executive Editor Bianca Pavoncello will be the moderator for the debate.
The format for the debate will allow each candidate to make a three-minute opening statement. The panel will then question the candidates on a variety of topics and issues. Each candidate will have two minutes to answer each question.
Each candidate will then have an opportunity to make a closing statement toward the end of the debate.
The debate will be videotaped and rebroadcast on cable access TV.
The Call debate is open to the public.
Four candidates have been certified to run for mayor, including incumbent Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, who is seeking his third term; state Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D-Dist. 49), David A. Fischer and Michael E. Moniz.
The candidates for mayor must face off in a primary to be held Oct. 8, with the top two moving on to a runoff Nov. 5.
There are also 15 candidates vying for seats on the City Council. They will square off in a primary, also on Oct. 8. The City Charter allows no more than 14 candidates to compete for a seat on the council in the Nov. 5 general election, or two per opening on the seven-member panel.