Allegheny College to Host Congressional Debate on Oct. 21

MEADVILLE, Pa. – Oct. 14, 2010 – The Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College will host a debate for the candidates for U.S. Congress, Pennsylvania District 3, on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in Ford Chapel.

The 65-minute debate between Democratic candidate Kathy Dahlkemper and Republican candidate Mike Kelly will be co-moderated by Allegheny College Professor of Political Science Daniel M. Shea and Meadville Tribune news reporter Keith Gushard.  It will be broadcast live by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Pennsylvania Cable Network, reaching an estimated audience of 3.3 million homes in the commonwealth.

“Given the critical importance of young voters to the ideals that underpin our democracy, we are very pleased to host this congressional debate,” Shea said. “Since we opened the Center in 2002, we’ve enjoyed the tremendous honor of hosting a congressional debate during every election.  Particularly during mid-term elections, debates offer students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the ongoing responsibilities implicit in America’s participatory system.  Elections are about so much more than simply choosing our next president.”

Gushard has been a reporter with the Meadville Tribune since 1985, covering a wide range of stories.  His main news beats are politics, county government and business.  Gushard graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and broadcasting.

Shea is director of Allegheny College’s Center for Political Participation and a professor of political science. He has a bachelor of arts in political science and American studies from the State University of New York at Oswego and a master of arts in campaign management/applied politics from the University of West Florida. He earned his doctorate in political science from the State University of New York at Albany. Shea is widely published, with about 75 articles, chapters and essays.  In 2010, he co-authored and edited three books:  “Campaign Rules: A 50-state Guide to Campaigns and Elections in American” (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.); “Campaign Craft: The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management” (Praeger, 4th Edition); and “Teaching Matters: Engaging Students in the Study of American Government” (Longman, Pearson Education). 

In keeping with Allegheny’s commitment to open campaign events as articulated by the Soapbox Alliance—a national coalition of colleges and universities founded by Allegheny in 2007—the debate is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. However, seating is limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis.