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UMass Lowell Holds 5th District General Election Debate


LOWELL -- Candidates competing in Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District race will face off live in UMass Lowell’s Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder St., Lowell on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. ߝ and online participants can help choose which questions will be asked. UMass Lowell is partnering with to offer real-time selection of two questions, which will be posed to the candidates during the debate by moderator Gary LaPierre of WBZ Radio.

“Today’s Web is what yesterday’s town square once was ߝ a meeting place for those interested in political issues of the day,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “UMass Lowell is offering this online audience participation tool as one more way to promote civic engagement.”

Meehan, who held the 5th District seat for 14 years, will host the debate ߝ which is free and open to the public.

Primary election winners Jim Ogonowski, Republican, and Niki Tsongas, Democrat, Independent candidates Kurt Hayes and Patrick Murphy, and Constitution Party candidate Kevin Thompson will participate in this last debate before the general election Oct. 16.

WBZ, the Lowell Sun, LTC, and the UMass Lowell Political Science Club are co-sponsors. Each will stream the debate from its website:, and It also will be aired live on WUML 91.5 FM, and on LTC Channel 8 in Lowell.  Questions will be posed by a panel of journalists:  Latoyia Edwards of New England Cable News, Matt Murphy from the Lowell Sun and Carl Stevens from WBZ Radio.

Through a partnership with, the University is offering voters an opportunity to influence the direction of the debate. Questions may be uploaded to, which will also be showing the debate live online. Before and during the event, individuals can create an account on, submit questions to the candidates and vote on submitted questions. The two questions with the highest score will be asked during the debate. Online participants will be able to direct the conversation, and to provide real-time feedback to a candidate's responsiveness, credibility and clarity in answering each question by posting their own comments on Visit for instructions on how to register and submit.

UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224