DAYTONA BEACH -- The Daytona Beach News-Journal will hold the final of its four public candidate debates tonight in Palm Coast at Daytona State College's Flagler/Palm Coast campus, Alan Smolen Amphitheater, 3000 Palm Coast Parkway Southeast.
The newspaper's debate session begins at 5:30 p.m. with a public-candidate meet and greet, followed by a debate for Flagler County sheriff between incumbent Don Fleming and fellow Republicans John Pollinger and Ray Stevens and Democrats Karl Tozzi and Jim Manfre, former sheriff.
The series of media debates are a lead-in to early voting that begins Aug. 4-8, followed by the Aug. 14 primary. The News-Journal has promoted its "partnerships" with Daytona State College in three of the debates and Stetson University in DeLand for the fourth, featuring the candidates for Volusia county chair.
Headline Surfer, with very little available revenue, held a marathon day-long series of debates July 21, at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach -- eight in all: New Smyrna Beach City Commission zone 4, Volusia County Council dist. 3 (greater NSB), Volusia County Chair, Supervisor of Elections, County Judge group 8, County Judge group 4, Clerk of the Circuit Court and State Attorney.
These debates were videotaped. So far, Headline Surfer has run video presentations of the first three with the rest planned for publication throughout the course of the week.
The Internet newspaper's debates allowed for direct audience participation. Of the three News-Journal debates, the races covered were for county chair, county council dist. 3 and 2 seats and Daytona Beach mayor.
The print newspaper's first debate came three days after Headline Surfer's debates at the same local for the two county council seats, followed by the News-Journal's Daytona Beach race at DSC's News-Journal Center and the county chair race at Stetson.