AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin mayoral candidates Kirk Watson and Celia Israel will answer questions from viewers in a Thursday night debate hosted by KXAN.
The hour-long debate starts at 9 p.m. and will be shown on KXAN, The CW Austin and KXAN.com.
Here’s a breakdown of how the debate will work and how long candidates will have to answer questions.
Who decides the questions?
Questions and topics were gathered from voters leading up to the debate. KXAN News staff also pitched in on the questions.
Who gets to answer first?
A card draw done on Tuesday determined which candidate gets the first question. Similarly, a separate coin flip determined who will go second for closing statements.
How long will candidates have to answer questions?
Israel and Watson will get 90 seconds to answer a primary question. They will get another 60 seconds to answer a follow-up question or give a rebuttal. Finally, another 30 seconds will be given for a candidate to provide any clarification at the discretion of the moderator.
Panelists will remind the candidates how much time they have to answer each question. Additionally, a sign signifying 15 seconds left will be displayed in the view of the candidates to let them know when time is dwindling.
While there won’t be any opening statements, closing statements will be kept to 60 seconds.
What if a candidate goes over time?
A bell will sound when time has run out to answer a question. Candidates will be allowed to finish their thought if the bell sounds mid-sentence.
What resources will the candidates have?
Candidates won’t be allowed to use notes, papers or campaign materials while on the debate stage. No electronic or battery-operated devices are allowed on the debate stage either.
Candidates will get a blank notebook, pen and water at their podium.
What’s up with that snazzy debate set?
KXAN is featuring parts of its new studio during the debate Thursday night. We’ve been undergoing renovations for many months and are excited to show it off. Stay tuned for the rest of the studio reveal!