COLUMBIA — The Missouri Press Association will host a forum for Missouri gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates Friday morning at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.
The gubernatorial forum will include Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, Republican candidate Dave Spence and Libertarian candidate Jim Higgins and will take place at 9:30 a.m.
The debate for U.S. Senate candidates will follow at 10:45 a.m. Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, Republican Rep. Todd Akin and Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine will all participate.
The event is closed to the public because of space constraints, said Doug Crews, Missouri Press Association executive director..
Crews said the forum is essentially a debate. All of the candidates have agreed to the guidelines on statement and rebuttal times.
The forum will be moderated by David Lieb of The Associated Press. Panelists from various media outlets, including from the Missourian, will question the candidates on issues and allow for debate.
"The goal is to provide an opportunity for candidates for the two top state offices to get together and be covered by the news media," Crews said. "Hopefully this will help inform the public on where the candidates stand on the various issues."
Crews said the Missouri Press Association has been hosting election forums since 1988. This will be the first debate in the general election campaign.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.