Debate to Give Long Beach Voters a Look at Candidates

Candidates for mayor will face off in their first major debate today at California State University, Long Beach.

The debate begins at 8 p.m. in the 500-seat University Theatre. Although most of the seats have already been claimed, some tickets may be available at the door, said Ed Twining Jr., president of the sponsoring Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It will be broadcast live on both Simmons Cable’s Channel 3, which airs community programs, and the university’s Channel 25. Paul Berg, director of programming, said the debate will be rebroadcast nine times on Channel 3 during the next three weeks.

The debate marks the first joint appearance of all candidates seeking to become the city’s first full-time, paid mayor. Filing closed Thursday for the April 12 primary election.


Twining said Press-Telegram Editor Larry Allison and Grunion Gazette Publisher John Blowitz will question the candidates on six topics--the airport, redevelopment, traffic, crime, zoning, the homeless and housing. The event will be moderated by chamber board member Paul Croshaw.

Any candidate who is attacked by another will be given 30 seconds to respond, he said. City Prosecutor John Vander Lans is the official timekeeper.

Twining said the chamber is presenting the debate as a public service to inform the electorate “about who the candidates are, what they look like and what they talk like.”

The debate will be rebroadcast on Channel 3 at 4 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. Tuesday and 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Berg said the program will be repeated at the same times and days during the following two weeks.