The first of two town political debates being sponsored by local media and held at the historic Suffolk Theater tonight will see two Democratic primary supervisor candidates square off, followed by three Republican primary hopefuls for town council.
The debate, sponsored by Riverhead News-Review and RiverheadLOCAL.com, will start at 7 p.m.
There will be a suggested $5 donation at the door, with all proceeds going to Brendan House, New Beginnings.
“We’re very excited to be working together to bring these debates to the public,” said Times/Review Newsgroup executive editor Grant Parpan. “Given the current political climate in this town, there’s no doubt these events will be good shows worthy of the theater’s grand stage.”
Both debates will be moderated by Mr. Parpan, RiverheadLOCAL editor and publisher Denise Civiletti and News-Review editor Michael White.
“Riverhead is at a crossroads,” Ms. Civiletti said. “The next town board will be making crucial decisions that will affect our future for generations to come. Voters need to know where the candidates stand on important local issues.”
Monday’s debate will feature Democratic supervisor candidates Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and Angela Devito, followed by Republican town council candidates Anthony Coates, John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio,
The Democratic candidates will debate first, for about 45 to 50 minutes, followed by the Republican candidates. Those arriving early for the second debate may be asked to wait in the theater’s lobby area, as to not disturb the first round of candidates.
All questions for the debates have been prepared in advance, and were written by readers as well as the moderators. All candidates will be given time to make closing statements. No outside video recording of the event is allowed.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the theater’s bar and restaurant will be open at that time, but shut down during the debates, which are scheduled to run until 9 p.m.
The theater’s bar and restaurant will re-open after 9 p.m.