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ABC 17 to broadcast, stream mayoral debate

ABC 17 News is partnering with media and community organizations to host a debate Thursday between the two candidates for Columbia mayor and a forum for school board candidates.

The mayoral debate starts at 6 p.m. and the school board candidates answer questions starting at 7 p.m. Both events will be at Stoney Creek Hotel. The mayoral debate will be shown in its entirety on ABC 17 and the school board forum will be broadcast on KZOU.

Video of both events will be streamed live online on

ABC 17’s Lucas Geisler will be on the panel for the mayoral debate along with Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick and a member of the Inclusive Impact Institute. The Columbia Tribune and KOPN are helping host the debate and forum.

Mayoral candidates will have two minutes for opening statements, three minutes to answer questions, one minute for rebuttal and three minutes for closing statements. Former state representative and judge Chris Kelly is challenging Mayor Brian Treece for his seat, which Treece won in 2016.

Three candidates are vying for two Columbia Board of Education seats: Della Streaty-Wilhoit, Blake Willoughby and Jay Atkins.

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