OGDEN — Want to know who's telling the truth and who's stretching things when the candidates for the 1st District U.S. House seat meet in a debate on Wednesday?
A team of Weber State University students will be watching the encounter, at the ready to fact check their statements. Parallel to that, the university is hosting a debate watch party, open to the public, at the Weber County Library System branch in Roy, 2039 W. 4000 South. The event goes from 5:45-8 p.m., including a discussion following the debate led by Caitlin Gochnour, a former Ogden City Council member.
The debate between Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican seeking his ninth term in the 1st District post, Democrat Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason of the United Utah Party goes from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday. It'll be held at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall, which serves Utah State University in Logan. Tickets to watch the debate in person are no longer available, but the debate will be broadcast via television stations KUTV, KSL and KUED and on Utah public radio stations. It will also be streamed live on the Facebook page of the Utah Debate Commission, the host.
Handling the fact-checking will be a team of WSU students enrolled in investigative journalism, policy debate, broadcasting and political science courses, according to a statement from Teresa Martinez of WSU's Center for Community Engaged Learning. The participating students will "compare what each candidate says to the research they conducted beforehand on certain topics they believe the candidates will discuss," she said.
The findings will be posted in real time on a live Facebook video at the Center for Community Engaged Learning Facebook page. Organizers welcome responses to the Facebook video using #WeberFactCheck and #MatterOfFact.
Wednesday's debate is the only one scheduled in the 1st District race. The district includes Weber County, northern Davis County and eight other counties in northern and northeastern Utah. Adam Davis of the Green Party is also running for the seat, but he didn't garner enough support in polling to qualify for the debate.
Election Day is Nov. 6.