Ohio Debate Commission


Who are we?

Our Mission

To foster fair and substantive debates that encourage participation in our democracy.


Our Vision

A stronger Ohio, with well-informed voters and highly qualified public servants, candidates, and elected officials.


Get in touch with us.

☎ Contact

(440) 544-6614





Why We Formed

After many electoral cycles spent working with campaigns and political parties to organize debates, stakeholders, and civic groups from across Ohio noticed a glaring need: when it comes to debates, there is no agreed upon authority, no shared sense of what best practices are, and no clear idea as to what debates ought to look like or strive to accomplish. In practice, this lack of accountability leaves organizations unprepared for the responsibility and unfamiliar with the work of presenting high quality political debates. 

Given these factors, a group of civic and media organizations joined with colleges and universities to form the Ohio Debate Commission, whose goal is to convene debates of the highest quality for the highest offices in Ohio. We believe that well-managed debates play a critical role in informing citizens about the issues and candidates on the ballot. We also believe that debates ought to be worthy of the sacrifice public service and candidacy represents. With this effort, the Commission aims to mobilize an informed and empowered electorate and honor the work of those who step up to run for office.


Participating Organizations

91.7 WVXU Cincinnati


Advance Ohio

Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com

Akron Press Club

The Blade, Toledo

Bliss Institute of Applied Politics


The City Club of Cleveland


The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus Metropolitan Club

Dayton Daily News

Dispatch Magazines

The Enquirer-Part of the USA Today Network

The George Gund Foundation

Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists

Hannah News Service, Inc.


John Glenn College of Public Affairs

League of Women Voters of Ohio

Miami University

NBC4 / WCMH Media Group

Ohio Association of Broadcasters

Ohio News Media Association

Ohio News Media Foundation

Ohio Politics

Ohio University Political Communication Certificate Program

Paul Beck, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University

The Plain Dealer

The Press Club of Cleveland

Radio One

Spectrum News (Charter Communications)

Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio and TV


WHIO Radio



WKYC-TV, Channel 3

WLWT Cincinnati

WOSU Public Media





Youngstown Vindicator

Your Voice Ohio



The Ohio Debate Commission is currently a project of The City Club of Cleveland. It was initially funded through a seed grant from the George Gund Foundation, and in-kind contributions from The City Club of Cleveland and the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Other major contributors include The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland State University, ideastream and the Nord Family Foundation. Logo by Falls Communications.