Washington Week’s Robert Costa to moderate 2018 People’s Debate for U.S. Senate race

congressWashington Post national political reporter and PBS’ Washington Week host Robert Costa will moderate the Oct. 2 People’s Debate between Sen. Tim Kaine and Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart.

The debate will be televised in every television market in Virginia.

“It’s an honor to host these candidates and the panelists at an important moment where control of the Senate is on the line and Virginians are engaged in fierce debates about the future for the Commonwealth and the country,” Costa said. “We will have a nonpartisan, informative and vigorous discussion.”

Both candidates, who are vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kaine, have accepted the invitation to participate in a statewide-televised debate to be held at 7 p.m. October 2.  Media partners for the debate are WCVE-TV PBS and WTVR-TV CBS 6.  The debate will be held at the WCVE-TV studio in Richmond.

“Virginians 50 and older understand the importance of this election and want to hear directly from the candidates about their positions on critical issues,” said AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau. “The People’s Debate will give voters the chance to hear from Senator Kaine and Chairman Stewart so that they can make their own informed decisions on Election Day.”

Panelists for the debate will include WTVR-TV CBS 6 “Virginia This Morning” co-anchor Reba Hollingsworth, WCVE-FM News Director Craig Carper, and AARP Virginia’s Dau.  Each panelist, as well as Costa, will ask the candidates questions during the hour-long broadcast.  WTVR-TV CBS 6 anchor Bill Fitzgerald will offer introductions at the debate.

Costa is the Moderator of Washington Week, the Peabody Award-winning weekly news analysis series on PBS. Costa is also a full-time national political reporter forThe Washington Post, where he covers Congress and the White House and regularly travels the country to meet with voters and elected officials. He also serves as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

At Washington Week, Costa oversees the weekly roundtable discussion of journalists on the program, which broadcasts live each Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern on PBS stations nationwide and on digital content platforms. He was born in Richmond and holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in politics from the University of Cambridge.

Hollingsworth joined WTVR-TV CBS 6 18 years ago. She left CBS 6 in 2005 to move to the Washington, D.C. area, and returned in 2009 and resumed her role with CBS 6 Virginia This Morning. A native of Texas and a graduate of Texas State University, she has received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award and The National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award for the documentary, “Richmond’s Slave Trade: Breaking the Chains of Silence.” She is a member of The National Association of Black Journalists and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Carper is the News Director for 88.9 WCVE Public Radio. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where he majored in journalism. Carper has worked in broadcast news since 2001. He has covered Virginia politics in various capacities for WCVE PBS television since 2006. For six years, starting in 2009, he served as the political reporter for 88.9 WCVE before being promoted to News Director in July of 2015.

Dau has worked for AARP since 2007, with the last three years serving as State Director for AARP Virginia. Dau’s team works across Virginia to help people in their communities meet the challenges and opportunities facing people 50-plus in areas like family caregiving, fraud prevention, and brain health. Prior to joining AARP, he worked on domestic and international political communications in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Dau graduated from the University of Georgia and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Richmond television stations WTVR-TV CBS 6 and WCVE-TV PBS are co-producing and distributing the debate to broadcasters statewide in order to make the forum available to voters across Virginia.

Stations in the following markets have confirmed they will carry the debate live:


  • WVIR-TV NBC 29
  • WHTJ-TV PBS 41


  • WVPT-TV PBS 51


  • WGNT-TV CW 27.1
  • WHRO-TV PBS 15



  • WDBJ-TV Channel 24
  • WBRA-TV PBS 15

In Northern Virginia, WETA PBS Washington, D.C. will broadcast the debate at 11 p.m.

To learn more about what AARP Virginia is doing in the community, visit its website, or follow on Facebook and Twitter. Follow discussion of the debate on social media with the hashtag #PeoplesDebate2018.

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