COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) —  The WRBL News 3/Coumbus State University Columbus mayoral debate is two days away. 

Mayor Skip Henderson and challenger John Anker will debate Thursday night at University Hall on the Columbus State campus.  

It will be televised live on WRBL beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. 

There was a televised debate six weeks ago, right after qualifying for the May 24th election closed. 

Since that time the candidates have been doing forum after forum throughout the city.

The WRBL debate will put the two candidates side by side in front of a television audience for the second and final time. 

And it comes as advance voting starts on Monday. 

Both the mayor and the challenger, a Columbus businessman, say that raises the stakes Thursday night. 

“It reaches more people,” Henderson said of a televised debate. “Now, I do think a lot of these smaller forums and the organizations that are hosting them have been live-streaming. So, it’s getting to a number of people. But, obviously, television gives people an opportunity from a wide range of ages to sit at home and see what the candidates are all about.” 

Anker said the candidates have been working smaller groups, but the opportunity for an hour on television reaches a different audience. 

“We have been head to head a whole lot,” Anker said. “I guess the reason it is important, I am not used to TV at all, I am not used to live TV. Different types of media hit different people. But after the last debate, I realized how many people are paying attention and being engaged. And I think being WRBL with the election less than a month away is going to be a big deal. Because people are paying attention. They can come out and engage in a large group – 900 people can sit there. But they can also sit in their EZ-Boy, or whatever chair they are comfortable in, and watch from home.” 

The News 3 debate will have a live audience inside Columbus State’s University Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. and it will be first come first served.