UF hosts U.S. Ohio Senate Primary Republican Forum on Feb. 19

By Megan Hite, HiteM@Findlay.edu

On Feb. 19, the University of Findlay will hold its first U.S. Senate Forum at the Winebrenner Auditorium. UF professor Amy Rogan helped put this event together.

“This is the U.S. Senate Primary Republican Forum for Ohio,” Rogan said. “It’s a forum, so it’s not a debate. Spectrum News 1 is producing the event, we are just the host site for it.”

The three main candidates that attending this event are Secretary of State Frank Larose, State Representative Matt Dolan and Bernie Moreno, alongside host Mike Kaylmyer.

Rogan explained her wanting for an event like this at the University and her push to make this happen.

“I always want to help the student body and the campus community be more politically aware, involved and educated,” Rogan said. “Anytime we can get something like that where students can get involved or be aware and see it up close and personal, it’s important.”

Rogan worked in the TV industry before teaching communication and journalism classes at UF. She maintains many connections in the TV industry, who she reached out to about this idea.

“I worked in TV for a long time and I still have some friends that work in TV. I was talking to one of them at Spectrum News 1 and really wanting to have a debate here in the fall. They said ‘Yeah, Findlay would be a great place for that’ and said he would have the news director Karl Turner connect with me. So, we connected and he said we want to bring the U.S. Senate Primary to Findlay,” Rogan said.

Prior to the forum, a site visit took place where Spectrum News 1 brought their operations team to complete a walk-through. They checked all the facilities to make sure UF offered everything the team needed.

Prior to the forum, UF students can send in questions to be asked by the host to the candidates.

“We’re going to be collecting questions from students for the host, Mike Kallmeyer, to ask the candidates. While they won’t ask the questions directly, they will have the chance to submit questions and have the producer and the host go through and decide what they will use to contribute to the forum,” Rogan said.

This will be a ticketed event, where each campaign receives 50 tickets to distribute. The Ohio Republican Party and the University each gets 50 tickets. Some student volunteers will help work during the event.

The forum will be an hour long and will start at 8 p.m.; however, doors open between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Rogan explained that there won’t be any commercial breaks within the hour. Rogan expressed that anyone who will not be able to attend the event can live stream it at home or from their phone.

“They can watch it on Spectrum News 1 Ohio or they can also watch it streaming on the Spectrum News app,” Rogan said.

Rogan explained her reasoning on why this Senate Forum is important not only to the city of Findlay but Ohio as a whole.

“The winner of the primary of this will take on Sherrod Brown in the fall. Sherrod Brown is one of our current U.S. senators from Ohio. He and J.D. Vance are our two senators and Sherrod Brown has been there since 2006. Talking to some people in the business, this is going to be one of the tougher racers that he’s [Brown] faced,” Rogan stated. “It all trickles down to the bigger picture with the U.S. senate and how our laws are passed and what happens at the capital. It is a crucial race.”