This summer, Pacific Lutheran University was selected to host a public debate between U.S. Senate candidates Maria Cantwell (D) and Susan Hutchison (R). The event, which is put on by the Washington State Debate Coalition, has now been confirmed by both candidates for 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.

“Pacific Lutheran University is looking forward to both candidates being on campus on Oct. 8, and we’re excited that our students, faculty, staff and community members will get an opportunity to see the region’s political leaders engage in accessible civic discourse,” said PLU’s Acting President Allan Belton.

The college was chosen from a group of 19 applicant sites throughout the state. PLU will work with Bethel, Eatonville, Franklin Pierce, and Tacoma school districts to host the debate.

“This part of Pierce County is something of a civics desert, and that lack of access leads to low voter turnout. Community members don’t really have any opportunity to meet with the leadership that represents them,” said Justin Eckstein, the forensics director at PLU. “By bringing this debate to the area, we’re working to enhance our community.”

For those who can’t attend, the debate will be streamed live online at and televised, although a spokesperson for the college said timing details of the televised feed had not yet been confirmed.

Registration is free and can be accessed here.