Saturday, April 19, 2008

Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference
- Gubernatorial Debate

The highlight of the first day of this year's conference was the Gubernatorial Debate. Though the Democrat candidates had been invited, both Richard Moore and Beverly Purdue declined. I think it is interesting that the press never criticize liberals for not participating in debates in forums that are considered conservative, but conservatives are severely chastised for not participating in liberal debate forums.

Before the debates got started, Bill LuMaye of WPTF and Matt Mittan of WWNC were live on the radio from the Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference, conducting radio interviews of the Gubernatorial candidates and other attendees.

Judge Robert Orr (on left) and Senator Fred Smith (standing in middle), talking with Agnes Cheek, Producer of "Take a Stand" from WWNC (standing on the right) and another lady (seated) whose name I missed, while they waited for their turn to be interviewed.

Matt Mittan (above on left) of the "Take a Stand" show on WWNC interviews Judge Robert Orr, Republican candidate for Governor.

The three debate moderators were Brian Freeman (above on left), News Director of WSJS and WMFR, Rick Martinez, Opinion Editor of the News and Observer and Scott Carr (show on right) Anchor at State Government Radio. WSJS, WMFR and State Government Radio carried the Gubernatorial Debate live.

There was excellent attendance at the debate, including a large number of Republican candidates for other positions in the audience.

Bill Graham (center above) and Senator Fred Smith (above on right) are fitted for mics while waiting for the event to start.

Chris Hayes (on left above) of Civitas jokes with three of the candidates, Judge Robert Orr, Bill Graham and Senator Fred Smith.

Francis DeLuca, President of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute welcomed people to the debate and introduced the moderators.

Candidates took their seats on the stage (above). From left Mayor Pat McCrory, Judge Robert Orr, Senator Fred Smith and Bill Graham. Click on the names below for the candidate's web sites.

Senator Fred Smith

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory

Attorney Bill Graham

Judge Robert Orr

The debate was, as usual with these candidates, excellent. Senator Fred Smith (above) is show giving his closing remarks. It was an interesting format . . . much looser than is usually done. This night, there was considerable banter between the candidates. They have done a large number of these debates and at least one reality contributing to the relaxed atmosphere had to be that it is expected this will be the last debate before the primary date, when one of these four will be chosen as the candidate. It has been remarked before, this is an impressive group of candidates. They are much more serious and accomplished individuals than is usually found in any field of candidates. This night they all pledged that they will work together to support whoever is chosen in the primary.

The current polls indicate just how close it is going to be. With 44% of the Republican voters still undecided, any one of the candidates could win depending on how late deciders break, though long time leader in this race Senator Fred Smith, and well known Mayor Pat McCrory continue to be the best regarded prospects.


At 3:17 PM, Blogger Bobby Coggins said...

Good Post.

It's a crime that the Civitas people keep inviting Matt Mittan of "Take A Stand" to their events.
He has done more harm to conservatism in our region than the progressives.

Here is a recent post where I posted audio of him arguing with a professor from UNCA.

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Not-So-Impartial Observer said...

What, no narrative? No comments? Nothing? Just pictures? Boo...


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