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KCTS and League of Women Voters will sponsor first (and so far only) U.S. Senate debate between Maria Cantwell and Michael Baumgartner

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Sep. 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
September 13, 2012 5:40 pm

The first debate between incumbent U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner has been agreed to by the two campaigns.

KCTS and the League of Women Voters will cosponsor the debate Oct. 12. It will be taped before an audience and aired on public television and radio stations.

Baumgartner has been making an issue of the lack of debates in his challenge to the two-term Democrat. He recently announced that an empty chair had agreed to debate him, a la Clint Eastwood’s performance at the Republican National Convention.

Cantwell’s campaign denied that it was refusing debate invitations, saying it was waiting to get the fall schedule for the U.S. Senate before committing to any dates.

Cantwell’s announcement Thursday says it is reviewing other opportunities without calling them debates.

“The Cantwell campaign continues to review a number of outstanding invitations to community forums, additional joint appearances, and campaign speaking engagements throughout Washington state. Additional public campaign events will be announced in the coming weeks as they are scheduled.”

Said campaign spokesman Kelly Steele: “While Senator Cantwell’s focus remains squarely on fighting to pass legislation like the Veterans Job Corps Act and an extension of the sales tax deduction, she looks forward to discussing her record of tireless advocacy for Washington jobs – from apples to aerospace – along with her vision to grow jobs and boost Washington exports in the future,” said Cantwell campaign spokesman Kelly Steele.”

Jami Herring with the Baumgartner campaign, said the state senator from Spokane has agreed to the KCTS debate.

“You know we’ve been pushing for any open dialogue,” Herring said. “We’re excited.”

Here is the full press release from Cantwell’s campaign:

KCTS/League of Women Voters To Sponsor US Senate Debate
Debate to be aired on both statewide public television and radio

SEATTLE – The campaign for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s reelection is pleased to announce the acceptance of the first televised debate of the 2012 campaign season. The debate will occur on October 12, 2012, at the studios of KCTS television in Seattle. Taped before a live audience, the debate will be aired on both KCTS and affiliated public television stations throughout Washington state. In addition, the debate will be made available for broadcast to all statewide public radio affiliates.

The October 12th debate will be moderated by veteran, award-winning journalist Enrique Cerna and Washington League of Women Voters Co-President Kim Abel.

“While Senator Cantwell’s focus remains squarely on fighting to pass legislation like the Veterans Job Corps Act and an extension of the sales tax deduction, she looks forward to discussing her record of tireless advocacy for Washington jobs – from apples to aerospace – along with her vision to grow jobs and boost Washington exports in the future,” said Cantwell campaign spokesman Kelly Steele.

The Cantwell campaign continues to review a number of outstanding invitations to community forums, additional joint appearances, and campaign speaking engagements throughout Washington state. Additional public campaign events will be announced in the coming weeks as they are scheduled.

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