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Hays to host political debate

10/31/2013

by MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Howard Dean and Rick Santorum are headlining a debate Nov. 4 at Fort Hays State University in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

Dean, a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and former Vermont governor, and Santorum, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former senator from Pennsylvania, will debate the role of government in American society.

FHSU is hosting the two political figures as part of the first Keith Sebelius Lecture Series.

Chapman Rackaway, a political science professor at FHSU, said attracting the program's high-profile participants is a significant achievement for the university.

"This is a huge opportunity for us," Rackaway said. "We've been long recognized for our deep embedding in Kansas politics, but as far as national politics, in my 10 years here ... we haven't had people of this stature come out."

Rackaway said the evening will provide an entertaining and well-reasoned discourse.

"People who come out to this, they're going to see two of the more engaging political figures these days go into a head to head debate on the big issues facing our country," Rackaway said. "What better time than right now when everything appears to be in change and turmoil at the national level to have a big picture discussion."

Rackaway said visitors of this caliber usually only visit college towns on the East Coast.

Kent Steward, the director of FHSU's university relations office, will moderate the debate, Rackaway said.

The night's debate topics will include the future agenda of Obama administration, the economy and health care, according to the event's website.

Tickets for the general public cost $30 for unreserved seats and $35 for reserved seats. For additional information on ticket prices, call (785) 628-4664.