There are 10 people running for governor and the primary election is still two weeks away. But that hasn't stopped Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire and Republican...
OLYMPIA — There are 10 people running for governor and the primary election is still two weeks away. But that hasn’t stopped Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi from making plans for a series of general-election debates.
Gregoire and Rossi said Monday they have begun accepting debate invitations from various media organizations. But no dates have been set and the campaigns are still at odds over which debates to do.
So far, there are three debates that both sides have agreed to:
• A Seattle debate hosted by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, League of Women Voters, KOMO-TV, KXLY in Spokane and KATU in Portland.
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• A Yakima debate hosted by The Yakima Herald-Republic, The Seattle Times and statewide PBS affiliates.
• A Spokane debate hosted by The Spokesman-Review newspaper, KSPS public TV and KJRB-AM (790).
The Gregoire campaign’s proposed debate schedule also includes a Tacoma debate hosted by the Tacoma News Tribune and several other newspapers and a statewide radio debate hosted by KUOW-FM (94.9). Rossi has not yet agreed to those events.
Meanwhile, Gregoire is declining — but Rossi has accepted — an invitation to a debate hosted by KING-TV and The Seattle Times.
Gregoire spokeswoman Debra Carnes said the two campaigns have not yet had discussions about debate schedules. She said the governor tried to pick a mix of debates that covers all regions of the state and different media formats.
“Unfortunately, she just can’t do them all,” Carnes said.
Rossi said he’s open to doing as many debates as possible. “I just want to make sure there’s maximum exposure,” he said. “If we do it, I don’t want it to be in a vacuum.”
Gregoire and Rossi appeared in four televised debates when they both ran for governor in 2004.
Still no word yet on debate plans from any of the lesser-known governor candidates: Christopher Tudor, James White, Will Baker, Duff Badgley, John Aiken, Christian Pierre Joubert, Javier Lopez and Mohammad H. Said.
Ralph Thomas: 360-943-9882 or email@example.com