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After Offering Money, Buncombe County GOP Head Has First Debate This Saturday

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Earlier this year, Buncombe County Republican Party chairman Dr. Carl Mumpower put out the offer - for anyone who wanted to debate him on any topic, he'd give $100 to charity for each event.  His first debate since making that offer will take place this weekend.

Mumpower, a former Asheville city councilman, will debate Democratic state senator Jeff Jackson of Mecklenberg County this Saturday.  The event starts at 2 p.m. at Vance Elementary School in Asheville.  The topic will be public education - specifically, a resolution to increase funding for education in North Carolina.  Jackson will speak in support of the resolution, while Mumpower will speak against it.  The event is open to the public.  Jackson says he will match Mumpower's $100 donation to charity.

In making his offer, Mumpower said he wanted to improve the discourse in politics.  “We’re getting a little too complacent with personal attacks and animosity and aggressive politics.  And I was trying to think of a positive way to approach that", Mumpower told BPR in July.  “Usually in structured debate there’s an effort to focus on issues versus hostilities.  There’s an effort to guide the conversation toward a productive expression of opinions versus an indulgence or a verbal fistfight like we watch in the news now.”  Mumpower adds three other groups have expressed interest in debating him, but dates for those events have yet to be finalized.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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