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An original version of this story was published June 24, 2016.

Jobs, education, renewable energy and gender equality are some of the hot topics on the agenda of North Carolina's Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate. 

In ExitEvent's second Candidate Conversation, happening today at American Underground, Deborah Ross, the lawyer turned state representative turned GoTriangle general counsel turned U.S. Senate candidate will share her thoughts on those subjects and others important to entrepreneurs and leaders in the state's innovation economy.

Deborah Ross Senate
Deborah Ross is North Carolina's Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. She'll face incumbent Senator Richard Burr in the general election November 8, 2016. Credit: Deborah Ross for Senate, Wikipedia Creative Commons
It's the second in a series of live interviews we're conducting with North Carolina politicians leading up to this Fall's general election. In May, we hosted Attorney General Roy Cooper for an hour-long interview and meet-and-greet with local startup founders and community leaders. Four entrepreneurs got the chance to ask questions of the Democratic nominee for Governor. Highlights are here, and WRAL.com will publish videos from the event next week.

Entrepreneurs will also be involved in the August interview. We accepted questions for Ross via email in July, and entrepreneurs Isa Watson of Envested, Doug Speight of Cathedral Leasing and David Meisner of iScribes will ask theirs during the event. 

Ross, age 53, is a native of Philadelphia who lives in Raleigh's Boylan Heights neighborhood with her husband. She's a graduate of Brown University but earned a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has practiced locally for 25 years, including during her five and a half terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Her specialties include civil rights, constitutional law, infrastructure and renewable energy law, the latter two of which she practiced as general counsel at GoTriangle from June 2013 to October 2015. She's been a chief advocate of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. 

Ross has also served as a senior lecturing fellow at Duke Law School. 

Ross's interview will be part of American Underground's weekly HelpFest, but will include an invite-only audience of others in the community. A recap will appear on ExitEvent just after the event, and video segments will go live on WRAL.com

We hope to hold additional Candidate Conversations leading up to November. Invites remain to Governor Pat McCrory and Senator Richard Burr.

Ultimately, we hope these conversations lead to increased interaction between entrepreneurs and state political leaders and a more informed and engaged startup community.