The two candidates for lt. governor will meet in a debate at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 3 p.m. EDT. The setting is only fitting since the lt. governor serves as Secretary of Agriculture in Indiana, and the debate is on Farmer's Day at the fair.
Current Secretary of Agriculture Becky Skillman will explain why her team needs another four years to continue their programs. The Democrat challenger, representative Dennie Oxley, running with Jill Long Thompson, candidate for governor, will have an opportunity to help people who may not know him get better acquainted with who he is, including his values.
The program is promoted as a debate, although it's in reality more of a question-and-answer session between each candidate and a panel of journalists. The two candidates won't actually be interacting with each other on the stage, nor making rebuttal comments. Rules for the debate were hammered out by the organizers and the campaign managers for both candidates.
The AgriInstitute, formerly the Indiana Ag Institute, is the key organizer of this event. It's led by director Beth Archer. This leadership program sponsors the two-year leadership class that results in key young ag leaders in Indiana sharpening their skills over a two-year period. It culminates in a trip abroad to learn more about agriculture overseas, and further develop the leadership skills of each participant.
Indiana Prairie Farmer editor Tom J. Bechman will be one of the journalists asking questions at the debate. Questions will be prepared in advance, but the candidates don't see the questions ahead of time. They will be aware that the debate will cover specified topics. The topic list covers the waterfront of what's important in agriculture today, including property taxes, CAFO issues and transportation.
The debate begins at 3 pm in Our Land Pavilion on the main street of the fairgrounds, and will conclude promptly at 4 p.m. It will be broadcast over at least some of the stations on the Hoosier Ag Today radio network.
An analysis of the debate will be posted here for your review.