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Best in the West: Blue Ridge Public Radio, Mountain Xpress and Smoky Mountain News to host two-day NC11 candidate forum

Candidates Madison Cawthorn (left) and Moe Davis will debate for the first time on Sept. 4. Candidates Madison Cawthorn (left) and Moe Davis will debate for the first time on Sept. 4. Cory Vaillancourt photos

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, candidates for the North Carolina congressional seat left vacant by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have both agreed to appear at a two-day joint forum hosted by three of the district’s largest media outlets.

On the evenings of Friday Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, candidates will join moderator Cory Vaillancourt and a diverse panel of guests for “Best in the West: North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District forum.”

The first event, to be held at Western Carolina University’s Biltmore Park instructional site, will feature questions by Lenoir-Rhyne University Equity and Diversity Institute program developer Aisha Adams, former Asheville Citizen Times political reporter and current Mountain Xpress contributor Mark Barrett and Pete Kaliner, longtime N.C. political reporter, radio host and podcaster. Topics will include international, national, state and urban issues.

The second event, to be held at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, will include WCU political science and public affairs department chair Chris Cooper, WCU professor of economics and director of WCU's Center for the Study of Free Enterprise Edward Lopez and Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Topics will include rural issues, native issues and education.

Due to venue capacity limits currently in place, events will not be open to the public, but will be livestreamed. Specific times and instructions on how to watch will be published in the coming days.

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