The Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions will host debates for principle candidates in the Rhode Island gubernatorial election and Providence mayoral election. The debates, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 and 21, 2010, are free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions will host debates for principle candidates in the Rhode Island gubernatorial election and the Providence mayoral contest during October. The gubernatorial debate will take place on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the DeCiccio Family Auditorium in the Salomon Center for Teaching; the mayoral debate is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in W. Duncan Macmillan Hall, Room 117.

Marion Orr, director of the Taubman Center and the Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, will moderate the hour-long debates. The gubernatorial debate is part of the annual Governor Francis Licht Lecture Series; the mayoral debate is part of the 11th Annual Anton/Lippitt Conference on Urban Affairs and is funded by the Thomas Anton and Frederick Lippitt endowment fund. Both are free and open to the public.

Participants in the gubernatorial debate include Moderate Ken Block, former state party chair; Democrat Frank Caprio, general treasurer; Independent Lincoln Chafee, former U.S. Senator; and Republican John Robitaille, former gubernatorial aide.

Democrat Angel Taveras and Independent Jonathan Scott will participate in the mayoral debate.

All debate participants are recognized as viable candidates in the 2010 general election because they polled at least 3 percent in more than one independent survey.

Topics will range from jobs and employment to fiscal health, budget and economic growth, education, infrastructure and social issues.

“Rhode Islanders and Providence residents have a keen interest in these candidates and the significant issues before the state and the city,” Orr said. “We want to provide a free and open forum for the candidates and an opportunity for voters to hear their positions before they head to the polls on November second.”

Both debates will follow identical formats. Each candidate will be given the opportunity to present a 90-second opening statement. The moderator will then pose questions to individual candidates, who will have 90 seconds to provide answers. The opportunity for 60-second rebuttals will be offered at the discretion of the moderator. At the close of the debate, each candidate will be allotted 60 seconds for a closing statement.

The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions was established at Brown in 1984. Its mission is teaching, research, and service focused on the areas of health care, social welfare policy, education policy, urban policy, law and criminal justice, and media and technology. The Taubman Center sponsors an undergraduate program in public policy and American institutions and offers master’s degrees in public policy and public affairs.

The Governor Francis Licht Fund was established in 1987 by friends and family in memory of Gov. Frank Licht, a 1938 Brown graduate. Its purpose was expanded by gift agreement with the governor’s widow, Dorothy, in 2003 to support a lecture series and a summer internship, both in the field of public policy.

The Thomas J. Anton - Frederick Lippitt endowed fund was established by a generous gift from the late Frederick Lippitt to commemorate nearly two decades of cooperative work on city problems by Anton as founding director of the Brown University Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, and Lippitt, as state legislator, state administrator, candidate for mayor, and, most recently, as chair of the board of The Providence Plan, an organization that Lippitt and Anton helped create.

Members of the media seeking credentials for either or both events should contact Courtney Anderson in the University's Office of Media Relations at 401-863-2476 or by e-mail to Courtney_Anderson@brown.edu.