June 2, 2023

District Debates Continue on Friday, Sept. 20

The University of Mary Washington will continue to host debates in the coming weeks between candidates running this November for Fredericksburg-area seats in the Senate of Virginia and the Commonwealth’s House of Delegates.

The 88th District House Debate on Friday, Sept. 20  at 7 p.m., will take place on UMW’s Fredericksburg campus in Lee Hall, Room 411. Incumbent Del. Mark Cole, a Republican, will debate Democrat Jess Foster, as the two vie for the seat in the Virginia House of Delegates’ District 88, which includes sections of Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fauquier counties and part of the city of Fredericksburg.

A Spotsylvania deputy county administrator, Del. Mark Cole is seeking his 10th two-year term representing the district. He is a member of the House committees on Finance and Education, Small Business Commission and Rappahannock River Basin Commission, and he is chairman of the Privileges and Elections Committee. Foster is an attorney who co-owns the Foster McCollam law firm in Manassas, specializing in representing juveniles and domestic abuse survivors. She serves on the board of the Prince William County Bar Association.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., the 17th District Senate Debate will be held in Monroe Hall, Room 346, also on the Fredericksburg Campus. Republican incumbent Sen. Bryce Reeves will share the podium with Democrat Amy Laufer in the race for the District 17 seat in the Virginia Senate.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, will serve as moderator and a panelist at each debate. The other panelists will be Ted Schubel, news director of News Talk 1230/WFVA and WBQB radio, and Editorial Page Editor Barbara Hollingsworth of The Free Lance-Star. Written questions from the audience can be submitted in person shortly before the start of each debate.

The debates are co-sponsored by UMW’s College Republicans, Young Democrats and the Legislative Action Committee of the Student Government Association, as well as The Free Lance–Star, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Fredericksburg Area League of Women Voters.

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