Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE –- The University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is partnering with WATE-TV to host a televised debate among the major Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.

The hour-long debate will take place in the University Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. on June 29.

Candidates Ed Bryant, Bob Corker and Van Hilleary have agreed to participate.

WATE-TV anchor Gene Patterson will moderate the debate. Panelists will be WATE-TV anchor Lori Tucker, WNOX-FM radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill and Metro Pulse Senior Editor Barry Henderson. WATE-TV News Anchor Kristin Farley will introduce the issues and give the audience an opportunity to pose questions.

The League of Women Voters also is a partner on this event.

The debate is open to the public, and the audience will get the chance to question the candidates.

WATE-TV, Knoxville’s ABC affiliate, will broadcast the program live and WNOX-FM will simulcast it.

“Like many of our past programs, this debate is an excellent occasion for voters to hear from candidates in this hotly contested Republican primary,” said Alan Lowe, executive director of the Baker Center. “Voting is the responsibility of all citizens, and we hope this debate will be a key factor in helping voters make their decisions and in getting more citizens out to vote.”

Early voting for the Aug. 3 primary begins July 14. The winner of the Republican primary likely will face Harold Ford Jr., the sole Democrat running, in the general election on Nov. 7.

The election will fill the seat now held by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who is not seeking re-election.

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,
Alan Lowe, (865) 974-8515,

For more UT news, visit