The three major candidates for governor of Indiana have expressed their interest in participating in three debates the Indiana Debate Commission is organizing. The first is scheduled for Sept. 27 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.

In keeping with the IDC’s motto of “Putting Voters First,” members of the public are invited to submit questions they would put to the candidates. Questions on a variety of topics will be selected by the IDC for use in the debates.

The IDC, working with the campaigns of Democrat John Gregg, Republican Eric Holcomb and Libertarian Rex Bell, is in the process of finalizing the details for all three debates as well as dates and locations for two debates to be held in October.

“We are encouraged that the candidates acknowledge our intention to present three debates so they can share directly with voters how they would work to help shape the future of Indiana,” said Dan Byron, president of the debate commission. The IDC has planned and executed all televised debates among candidates for governor and U.S. Senate in Indiana since 2008. “We look forward to finalizing plans with them in the weeks ahead.”

The first debate, to be moderated by University of Indianapolis assistant professor of political science Laura Merrifield Albright, is intended partly as an educational event for students throughout Indiana. Candidates will meet in a town hall-style setting with high school students, teachers and administrators to discuss their positions on education issues, with some questions posed by students. The IDC is organizing the event in partnership with the Indiana State Bar Association, the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Education, sponsors of Indiana Kids’ Election, a program that helps to educate students about the electoral process.

This first debate, to be held during school hours, will be webcast live to schools throughout Indiana by WFYI-TV in Indianapolis. The video stream will also be made available to news organizations. In addition, the debate will be made available later for television broadcasting.

“Being involved in an event such as this is a new experience for the debate commission,” Byron said. “We’re excited to be part of an event that helps young people better understand our democratic system of electing our top officials in government, and we are pleased that the three candidates also recognize this opportunity.”

Byron noted the significance of the debate date of Sept. 27 – National Voter Registration Day. It also is the day after the first scheduled presidential debate.

“So voting and debates will be fresh on the minds of the public,” Byron said. “This is perfect timing for the first of our fall debates.”

The two October events are being planned as televised debates in the evening.

The debate commission also is working to schedule two televised debates with the three candidates for U.S senator: Democrat Evan Bayh, Republican Todd Young and Libertarian Lucy Brenton.