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Capps, Maldonado to Face Off Tuesday in Live, Televised Debate

Send Noozhawk and KEYT the questions you want to ask the congressional candidates

Rep. Lois Capps and Abel Maldonado will face off next week in the only live, televised debate in their closely watched race for California’s 24th Congressional District seat.

Capps, the Democratic incumbent, and Maldononado, her Republication challenger, have agreed to participate in the Tuesday night event, which is co-sponsored by Noozhawk and KEYT.

The debate will run from 7 to 8 p.m., and will be moderated by KEYT anchor Paula Lopez.

Each candidate will be given a chance to make an opening statement, which will be followed by a series of questions submitted by Noozhawk readers and KEYT viewers. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) you’d like to have the candidates answer.

The candidates will be given a chance to answer each question, as well as offer a brief rebuttal to their opponent. The event will end with brief closing statements from the pair.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen said it was important to both news organizations to get the public involved.

“Our virtual town halls have been a hit with Noozhawk readers, so we wanted to provide them with another opportunity to engage with us,” he said. “This is one of the most important elections of our lifetimes, so we want to ensure that voters’ voices are represented, and not just our own.”

Macfadyen said the two news staffs will meet Monday to sort the questions and organize them into topics.

Capps has represented the Central Coast for the past 14 years, in a district spanning the coastal area from Oxnard in Ventura County north to Monterey County.

After starting his political career in the city of Santa Maria, Maldonado has represented the Central Coast in the Assembly and state Senate, and was appointed lieutenant governor by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He lost a bid to retain that position in 2010.

The pair have faced off several times during the campaign, including a debate Monday night in Lompoc. Another face-off is scheduled for Oct. 9 at UCSB, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Independent and the Carsey-Wolf Center at UCSB.

The congressional district as previously drawn was tilted heavily in registration to Democrats. Derisively labeled the “ribbon of shame,” it often was cited as an example of gerrymandering to protect an incumbent.

However, redistricting after the 2010 census created a new 24th Congressional District that is much more evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

As a result, the Capps-Maldonado contest is considered to be one of the nation’s most competitive congressional races at stake in the Nov. 6 election. Several pollsters have rated it a toss-up.

National political parties and other political groups are expected to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the contest.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook. target=http://www.noozhawk.com

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