gubernatorial candidates gov governor's race

Candidates for South Carolina governor, from left to right, top to bottom in alphabetical order: Kevin Bryant (Republican), Yancey McGill (R), Henry McMaster (R), Phil Noble (Democrat), James Smith (D), Catherine Templeton (R), John Warren (R) and Marguerite Willis (D). Photos provided.

The College of Charleston is hosting televised debates for the Republican and Democrat gubernatorial candidates this month where all the hopefuls will take part except Gov. Henry McMaster.

The school and WCIV-TV announced a pair of debates Monday in advance of the June 12 primaries.

Democrats Phil Noble, James Smith and Marguerite Willis will square off at 7 p.m. May 15.

Republicans Kevin Bryant, Yancey McGill, Catherine Templeton and John Warren will go the next night, May 16, also at 7 p.m.

McMaster, a Republican, declined to participate, the college said.

The hourlong debates will be held in front of an audience at the Stern Student Center Ballroom on the College of Charleston campus.

The debates will be carried live on the following stations across the state: ABC News 4 Charleston, WACH FOX 57 Columbia, WPDE ABC 15 Myrtle Beach, and WLOS ABC 13 Asheville.

ABC News 4 Anchor Dean Stephens will moderate both debates.

"There are so many critical issues at stake in the 2018 governor’s race and we look forward to providing a forum to help voters learn more about the candidates," College of Charleston political scientist Gibbs Knotts said.

The debate is part of the college's Bully Pulpit Series, a nonpartisan event series the college has hosted since 2008. The events are meant to foster political participation throughout the college community. 

Limited tickets are free and open to the public. They can be accessed at http://bit.ly/2I1Rmfg.

Guests must show their Eventbrite tickets upon arrival to gain access to the event. Each debate will require a different ticket.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.