Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp will meet — virtually — for their first gubernatorial debate Wednesday night.

The hourlong debate will be broadcast live starting at 8 p.m., immediately following the evening’s vice presidential debate.

Inslee, the two-term incumbent Democrat seeking a third term, is facing Culp, the police chief of Republic, Ferry County, in the Nov. 3 general election. Ballots will be mailed by Oct. 16.

The Washington State Debate Coalition will host a 2020 gubernatorial debate at 8 p.m. on October 7 between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Loren Culp.
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The debate is sure to center in part on Inslee’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic — including his mask mandate and business restrictions, which Culp has defied in a series of in-person political rallies.

Due to the pandemic, the two candidates won’t appear side by side on stage and there will be no live audience.

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Instead, Inslee and Culp will speak from separate studios at TVW headquarters in Olympia, according to the Washington State Debate Coalition, the partnership of media and civic groups sponsoring the event.

The gubernatorial debate will be broadcast live on KING 5, KIRO 7, KOMO 4, KCTS 9, Northwest Public Broadcasting and TVW. It also will air on KUOW radio. Q13 (KCPQ) will air a delayed recording of the debate at 9 p.m.

The Seattle Times will livestream the debate at seattletimes.com. It also will be livestreamed on KCTS9.org, KING5.com, KIRO7.com, KOMONews.com, KUOW.org, NWPB.org, and TVW.org.

Moderators for the debate include Chris Daniels of KING 5, Brandi Kruse of Q13 News, Essex Porter of KIRO 7 and Melissa Santos of KCTS 9/Crosscut. They will be stationed in a separate room from the candidates.

No other debates between Inslee and Culp have been announced.