Massachusetts 4th District Congressional Debate at Wellesley College, October 15

October 2, 2012

Third Debate Between Candidates Running for Congress in the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District—Sean Bielat and Joseph Kennedy III—To Take Place at Wellesley College

WELLESLEY, Mass.—Wellesley College will join the League of Women Voters in sponsoring a debate between the two candidates running for Congress in the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District. Sean Bielat (Republican) and Joseph Kennedy III (Democrat) have accepted the invitation to join the forum.

Moderated by The League of Women Voters’ Jo-Ann Berry, co-chair of the Citizen Education Committee of the Massachusetts League, the debate will take place on Monday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall at Wellesley College. H. Kim Bottomly, President of Wellesley College, and Karen Price, director of the Massachusetts League and Needham League President, will give opening remarks.

The contest to succeed U.S. Representative Barney Frank in the newly redrawn district is one of the most closely watched congressional races this election year. The Oct. 15 debate is one of only three announced by the candidates: the other two are a Channel 5 WCVB debate on Sept. 30 and an Oct. 10 debate in Fall River, hosted by MassINC and CommonWealth Magazine. The debate at Wellesley offers citizens a rare opportunity to get to know the candidates and their positions a few weeks before the elections.

According to President Bottomly, a lively exchange of ideas is not only central to Wellesley’s role as a leading educational institution, but a hallmark of our very democracy. “We are pleased to join with the League to offer the candidates the opportunity to voice their positions on the important issues of the day—and we are delighted to invite our neighbors to enrich the discussion with a variety of perspectives," she said.

The debate program is free and open to the public. Students from colleges and high schools located in the 4th District—including Babson College, Olin College, Lasell College, Mass Bay Community College, Newbury College, Pine Manor College, Regis College, Wellesley High School, and the Dana Hall School—have been invited to attend and pose questions to the candidates.

The district includes towns in Bristol County: Acushnet, Attleboro, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Mansfield, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, and Westport; in Middlesex County: Newton and Sherborn; in Norfolk County: Bellingham, Brookline, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Sharon, Wellesley, and Wrentham; in Plymouth County: Halifax, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Rochester, and Wareham; and in Worcester County: Hopedale and Milford.

WHAT: Debate in contest for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District

WHO: Sean Bielat and Joseph Kennedy III

WHEN: Monday, October 15, 2012

6:45 p.m. – Doors open, voter registration begins (must bring valid photo ID)

7 p.m. – Reception

7:30 p.m. – Debate and Q&A

WHERE: Wellesley College in the Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02476

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is complementary and readily available. Public seating is first come, first served; no tickets are required.

The 7 part live stream video of this debate is available at Youtube.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries. For more information, visit


Sofiya Cabalquinto, Wellesley College, 781-283-3321,
Anne Yu, Wellesley College, 781-283-2901,

To request press credentials, please email


This event sponsored by an endowed fund established by Carolyn Ann Wilson, class of 1910, and with additional support from the Wellesley College President’s Office and the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events.