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Elections 2020: The Exchange Candidate Debates from NHPR

In the lead-up to Election Day on November 3, New Hampshire Public Radio will hold a series of live debates on-air and online with the candidates for major public offices in New Hampshire. Debates will take place between candidates for the U.S. Senate, the House seats in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts, and Governor. The debates are being held in collaboration with New Hampshire PBS, which will later broadcast them on NHPBS and NHPBS Explore.

Election 2020: The Exchange Candidate Debates from NHPR will be broadcast live from NHPR’s studios in Concord, with the candidates and NHPR staff socially distanced and safety protocols in place. Laura Knoy, host of The Exchange, will be joined by a co-host from NHPR’s news team for each of the debates, which will air live during The Exchange on NHPR and NHPR’s Facebook Live channel from 9 to 10 a.m.

The series kicks off on Wednesday, October 7 with the candidates in the 1st Congressional District: incumbent Chris Pappas (Democrat) and challenger Matt Mowers (Republican).

Questions posed at each debate will be informed by the voices of potential voters across the state who responded to online surveys. NHPR also reached out to communities of color, working with members of a Latinx advisory board and the local chapter of the NAACP to solicit questions for the candidates. Conversations will likely explore the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing impact in our state, the economy, education, climate change, health care and the broader national political environment around the U.S. Presidential election and its impact on New Hampshire. For this debate and for future debates, audience members are encouraged to submit their questions for the candidates in advance by email ( or by answering an online survey.

“In the lead-up to this important election, hearing directly from people all over New Hampshire about their concerns is core to our public service mission,” said Jim Schachter, President & CEO of NHPR. “Our ongoing collaboration with NHPBS, initiated with our coverage of the primary, allows us to further expand the reach of these debates and allows more Granite State listeners and viewers to hear and see from the candidates.”

“NHPBS is proud to partner once again with NHPR on these crucial conversations,” says NHPBS President and CEO Peter Frid. “Our team has worked hard on a plan to record these debates for television using newly developed remote technology. Our plan is to turn these around and make them available on-air and online for everyone in the Granite State.” Viewers can visit to learn more.

Election 2020: The Exchange Candidate Debates are part of a broader portfolio of NHPR reporting around the upcoming U.S. and state elections. Other tools and reporting projects related to election coverage and accessible online include:

  • A comprehensive voting guide (in English).
  • A comprehensive voting guide (in Spanish).
  • 2020 Candidate Interviews – longer-form interviews with the candidates as featured on NHPR.
  • Upcoming podcast episodes on topics like ‘Presidential Debates’ and ‘How a Ballot Becomes a Vote,’ from NHPR’s Civics 101 podcast.
  • Ongoing updates via the Primarily Politics newsletter.


ELECTION 2020: The Exchange Candidate Debate (1st Congressional District)

DATE: Wednesday, October 7, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. during The Exchange on NHPR

MODERATORS: Laura Knoy and Peter Biello  

AUDIENCE QUESTIONS: Listeners with questions are encouraged to submit their queries in advance to:   [These questions will help guide the interview and may be read by Laura Knoy on-air]

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Along with the live broadcast, the debate will be streamed on Facebook Live. It will also be broadcast on Friday, October 9 at 7 p.m. on NHPBS and Friday, October 9 at 8:30 p.m. on NHPBS Explore. Go to to learn more.

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