Candidates for the 24th Congressional District will field questions from a panel of Central Coast reporters during a virtual forum Saturday sponsored by KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara and broadcast live via the NOW Channel and online.
Incumbent Democrat Salud Carbajal, of Santa Barbara, is being challenged for his seat in the House of Representatives by Republican Andy Caldwell, of Santa Maria, in the Nov. 3 general election.
The two were scheduled to meet face to face, albeit socially distanced, in the forum at KEYT’s studio until Carbajal announced last week he had been exposed to and then tested positive for COVID-19.
That’s when organizers decided, for everyone’s health and safety, to take the program virtual so everyone could participate without traveling to the station, said Jim Lemon, news director for NPG of California.
“I expect a robust and informative discussion of events that are important to voters across the district, giving people a chance to understand the candidates better,” Lemon said.
Panelists will be veteran Santa Barbara area reporter Jerry Roberts, Josh Molina from Noozhawk and Lisa André, reporter for the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News.
The moderator will be Scott Hennessee, evening news anchor for KCOY and KKFX, who will not only time candidates’ answers, which are limited to 45 seconds, but will also ask questions that were submitted by the public.
Hennessee will be in the TV station’s studio, but the candidates and panelists will participate remotely from their own chosen locations via Zoom.
Lemon said the reporters will provide their own questions, which will not be shared with the candidates in advance.
Each candidate also will get a one-minute opening statement and a one-minute closing statement, Lemon said, with lots drawn before the hourlong program begins to determine who goes first for the opening and closing statements.
Lemon said the program will be slotted to air at other times on NOW, KEYT, KCOY and KKFX, but those times have yet to be determined.
In this Series
- 13 updates
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.