RIESTER and the Arizona Media Association will Produce 2024 Clean Elections Candidate Debates

Phoenix, AZ - January 26, 2024

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has completed its procurement process for the production and broadcast of candidate debates in 2024 and announces the selection of RIESTER in partnership with the Arizona Media Association (AMA) as the successful contractor. The collaborative proposal from RIESTER and the AMA —engineered to professionally produce debates for the U.S. Senate and Congressional, as well as Corporation Commission races for the 2024 primary and general elections—ensures optimal technologies, processes and productions for media outlets everywhere in Arizona that broadcast debates. The ultimate task for RIESTER and the AMA is to ensure the debates are available to all voters in every corner of the state.

“Many Arizona races are already a national topic, and the expectation is set for debates that provide visibility into the plans and policies of candidates,” said Clean Elections Executive Director Tom Collins. “Voters rely on Clean Elections to provide candidate debates that are nonpartisan, accessible, and fair. Our final decision on a partner for debates was guided by these principles, while keeping in mind a second, equally critical audience: members of the media who are stewards of civic engagement and providers of information to voters.”

For more than two decades, Clean Elections has been the state’s only nonpartisan debate sponsor successfully producing hundreds of local, state, and federal debates. As a recognized voter education leader, Clean Elections is focused year-after-year on improving voter information accessibility and creating tools to support informed participation in elections.

“When it comes to stimulating conversation among voters, nothing compares to debates which is why we have been working on them since last year,” said Clean Elections Voter Education Director Gina Roberts. “We believe that the combined competencies of RIESTER and the AMA are solid footing to produce debates that will reach all voters and give all candidates a level playing field to make their case to their constituencies.”

The selection of a debates production and broadcast partner is a key component to debates planning which started months ago and began with the evaluation of Arizona debate processes conducted by the Citizens Clean Elections Candidate Debates Work Group in 2023. The group summarized its findings in anticipation of the 2024 debates and will be referenced as plans are crystalized by RIESTER and the AMA.

“We are committed to the most successful debate season possible,” said Arizona Media Association President and CEO Chris Kline. “We have been allies on other important public awareness initiatives with both Clean Elections and RIESTER, and because of that, this new partnership is incredibly exciting. This relationship will allow us to make every debate available to hundreds of local media brands on radio, TV, in partnership with newspapers and across countless digital platforms with the goal of reaching every voter in our state.”

“In this new age of misinformation, RIESTER is highly motivated and honored to work with the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and the AMA’s hundred’s of media members statewide to produce the most professional, technically-sound debates that deliver uncensored and unedited candidate exchanges to the communities they are competing to serve,” said RIESTER Founder and CEO, Tim Riester.

RIESTER and the AMA responded to a public Request for Information (RFI) titled Clean Elections 2024 Candidate Debates by the deadline date of January 12, 2024.

About the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission (Clean Elections).
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission was established by Arizona voters to restore citizen participation and confidence in Arizona’s political system, to improve the integrity of State government and to promote freedom of speech under the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions. Visit www.azcleanelections.gov to learn more.

About the AMA
The Arizona Media Association is a 501-c(6) non-profit corporation that acts as the official trade association for Arizona’s local radio, TV, print and digital industry. Its mission is to futureproof Arizona local media and protect its critical role in community connection. The Arizona Media Association also underwrites the Arizona Local News Foundation to connect communities with more local news and information. Membership includes more than 350 radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, digital operations and associate groups. Visit www.azmedia.org for more information.

Driven by humanity, the founders of RIESTER innately care and as a result have created a passionate creative marketing company that understands, appeals and connects to peoples’ emotions to drive change. Composed of culturally diverse, internationally experienced, thought-provoking people, this studious, collaborative, talented and open-minded group is in the constant pursuit of creating more impactful campaigns. This has led to RIESTER being recognized by AdAge among the 20 Hottest Creative Shops to Watch in America and PRWeek awarding its Campaign of the Year honors to RIESTER. Visit www.riester.com to learn more.