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Plans for 'Courthouse Debates' Between Long, Eckersley Emerge

Details are emerging about the upcoming series of “courthouse debates” between two candidates vying to represent Missouri’s 7th district in Congress. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has this report.

In the spirit of old, western high-noon duals came last week’s announcement that U.S. congressional candidates Scott Eckersley and Billy Long will face off in a series of ten debates. The debates will take place on the courthouse steps in each county of Missouri’s 7th district. Eckersley, the Democratic candidate, invited his challenger, Billy Long, to debate. He says these debates are a better way to connect with the community than running ads.

“For me, in our camp, the idea has been let’s take this message where it needs to go, rather than ask people to come get it,” Eckersley said.

According to Eckersley, the debates will begin in late August or early September, and the schedule will be released soon. Each debate will take place at noon and will last an hour, with two-minute question and answer sessions, followed by a one-minute rebuttal. Local newspapers have been asked to moderate at each debate. Eckersley says this provides each community with a voice.

Eckersley got just over 5,000 votes running as a Democrat in last Tuesday’s primary. In the Republican primary, Long got almost three times that amount.

Calls to the Billy Long Campaign for comment were not immediately returned.For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.