Politics & Government

Wilson, Bjorn find home for 2nd District debate

Arik Bjorn campaign.

The 2nd District congressional debate finally has a home.

Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, Democrat Arik Bjorn and American Party candidate Eddie McCain will square off Nov. 4 in front of roughly 800 students at River Bluff High School.

The event is set for 9:30 a.m. – four days before election day – at the Lexington County high school’s performing arts center.

River Bluff has not yet decided on a moderator and still is exploring options for broadcasting the debate, said Michael Burgess, the event’s organizer and a teacher at River Bluff’s Center for Law and Global Policy Development.

Wilson and Bjorn last month agreed to debate. But they did not find a host until this week. S.C. Education Television decided it would not televise the debate or any other S.C. debates this fall.

After hearing of that hiccup, River Bluff’s Teen Republicans and Young Democrats proposed their school host the event, Burgess said.

The debate will be student-centered, with River Bluff’s juniors and seniors pitching questions to candidates, he said.

“This is about creating a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity for our students to see this type of debate take place, live and in real time,” Burgess said.

Democrat Bjorn, a Columbia librarian, said he is “absolutely delighted” to have a debate host. He hopes a network will agree to broadcast the event to potential voters across the district, which covers Barnwell, Aiken and Lexington counties and parts of Richland and Orangeburg counties.

“The whole district, everybody deserves to see it,” Bjorn said. “We’ve got to come up with a way for everyone to have this vital information.”

Wilson, a Springdale Republican, said he looks forward to sharing his “positive agenda” with 2nd District constituents.

“I have a strong, conservative record of creating jobs, promoting peace through strength, and fighting for limited government and expanded freedom for American families.”

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks