Political Science Expert Weighs in on Reno Mayoral Candidate Forums and Debates

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Updated: 4/29/2014 12:16 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- On April 29th, Reno Mayoral candidates will take part in a 90-minute forum at UNR.

Eric Herzik, the Chair of the Political Science Department at UNR says these forums and debates will have some effect on voters. He says voters are given a lot of information in a hurry, and described it as a "one stop shop" for voters. He also says it's helpful for voters to see the candidates side-by-side.

He believes the primary race is going to be very close. Primary elections during non-presidential years statistically have low voter turnout. He says a candidate could win the primary with only 2,000 votes.

Herzik also says name recognition, fund raising efforts and going door-to-door in neighborhoods will help the candidates. He also adds it's important what's said about the candidates the day after the forum and debate.

"Did somebody say something outrageous, or did someone really come across unprepared. The easiest thing in a short forum is tell you candidate don't make a mistake. You don't want the headline the next day to be something outrageous," Herzik said.

Tuesday night's forum will be hosted by the RGJ and KNPB.

During the first 20 minutes of the forum, there will be a one minute introduction from each candidate. Then the candidates will spend the next 20 minutes with a lightning round of questions.  The next 30 minutes will be three questions for each candidate with 30-second responses. And the last 20 minutes will be spent with one minute closings from each candidate.

At the forum, employees from the RGJ and KNPB will kickoff the process for determining the 10 most viable candidates for Reno mayor. Those ten will then be invited to appear in a televised debate on May 29th.

They've decided to use a formula to determine which candidates are viable to participate in the televised debates. Those criteria include social media followers, reader and viewer voting, and fund raising.

The doors will open at 6:15 pm and the forum will begin at 6:30 pm. It will be held in room 100 at the Jot Travis Student Building at the campus of UNR.
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