U.S. Senate Candidates Debate

Steve Pagliuca, Michael Capuano, Rachelle Cohen, Alan Khazei, and Martha Coakley


The four Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate squared off at David J. Sargent Hall in a debate leading up to the Dec. 8 primary, focusing on issues impacting young voters.

The Democratic candidates – U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, businessman and Celtics-co-owner Steve Pagliuca, and City Year founder Alan Khazei – presented their views on the war in Afghanistan, the economy, housing, health care, and education during the exchange, co-sponsored by Suffolk University and Bostonherald.com and focused on issues of concern to young voters.

Rachelle Cohen, editorial page editor at the Boston Herald and an instructor in the University's Communication and Journalism Department, moderated the debate, which  featured a live video stream, along with blogging and Twitter feeds.

A panel of Suffolk students – Manny Veiga, Allison Brito, and Lalita Bumpen – posed questions about reducing housing and health care costs, supporting the stimulus bill, and lowering the voting age to 17.

The candidates also fielded questions gathered online through Bostonherald.com.  Those questions included:

  • Should legal aliens get in-state (Massachusetts) tuition?
  • Can you name one thing President Bush did right?
  • Do you support the troop increase?
  • How can you make attending college more affordable?

People could follow the debate live on Bostonherald.com – and offer their own analysis – through a live online chat.

A focus group of Suffolk students - Justin Dulak, Martha Alvarado, Nicole Coakley (no relation to the attorney general), and Pat Johnson, along with Government professor Rachel Cobb, offered additional feedback through a live Bostonherald.com blog, and readers were able to connect to a live Twitter feed by Suffolk students on scene at the debate.

Suffolk Vice President for External Affairs John Nucci noted that the debate was “a learning experience for our students.”

The candidates are running for the seat held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.



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