Armstrong sociology professor, Ned Rinalducci, helped organize the debate at Armstrong. Rinalducci was pleased with the overall turnout and says that by Armstrong hosting the debate, it shows that the school participates with the Savannah community.
Junior economics major Collin Owen said “I thought it was great for Armstrong to host the event. It brought attention to a lot of the conflicts within our city that I had no idea about.”
Mayoral candidates like incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson, Eddie DeLoach, Murray Silver, and Louis Wilson were all in attendance for the debate. WSAV News 3 evening anchor Tina Tyus-Shaw served as the debate’s moderator.
Armstrong President Dr. Linda Bleicken began the debate, welcoming guests to ASU’s campus. The debate lasted approximately two hours and permitted candidates to discuss key issues within the city like local crime, poverty and the condition of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Candidates were also asked questions concerning Grayson Stadium, the former home of the Savannah Sand Gnats, and whether or not to allow food trucks in Savannah.
The evening’s questions came directly from Savannah voters. In total, more than 40 questions were submitted for the debate.
One candidate seemed particularly interested in connecting with the university’s students. Throughout the evening, Murray Silver seemed to aim some of his remarks directly towards Armstrong students. Louis Wilson also attempted to connect with students by asking if there were any economics students present.
Rinalducci was satisfied with the debate’s preparation. “It went well,” he said. “Mostly just logistics, getting the room ready with sound and set up, getting students to help direct guests, coordinating with the campaigns.”
With the election quickly approaching, the mayoral candidates are trying to squeeze in as much speaking time as possible. Days after the debate at Armstrong, the four candidates reunited for another public forum. The election is scheduled for Nov. 3.