Gubernatorial AARP debate set for July 18

The first of four AARP gubernatorial debates between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige will be held July 18 at the Maui Beach Hotel.

The debate will focus on issues of importance to older voters, including health care, retirement security, jobs, support for family caregiving and long-term care, according to the AARP news release.

The format will allow candidates to question each other directly; some questions also will be taken from the audience.

The debate will be moderated by University of Hawaii associate professor of journalism Gerald Kato.

The gubernatorial debate will be featured in the second half of a two-part event that begins with a discussion of the future of Social Security and an update on AARP’s state legislative priorities from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The debate will follow the discussion, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

This event is open to the public, but registration is required online at or by phone at (877) 926-8300.

AARP also will sponsor gubernatorial debates in Hilo on July 28, Kona on July 29 and Honolulu on Aug. 2. On Tuesday, AARP will kick off its voter education season with a live televised debate between the leading Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, on KHON2 at 7 p.m.