2022 Washington State Debate Coalition Candidate Schedule
2022 Washington State Debate Coalition Candidate Schedule

Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers will have a num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties to watch can­di­dates for fed­er­al and statewide office face each oth­er on the debate stage next month, the Wash­ing­ton State Debate Coali­tion announced this morning.

The Coali­tion and Braver Angels, a non­prof­it work­ing to cre­ate dia­logue between pro­gres­sives and con­ser­v­a­tives, are orga­niz­ing debates or can­di­date forums for U.S. Sen­ate, Sec­re­tary of State, U.S. House, and even State Sen­ate in the 26th LD. Here is the sched­ule that they announced this morning:

  • Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 15th: 26th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict (Emi­ly Randall/Jesse L. Young) Debate at 3 PM at the Norm Dicks Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter in Bre­mer­ton, in part­ner­ship with Braver Angels.
  • Tues­day, Octo­ber 18th: Wash­ing­ton Sec­re­tary of State (Julie Anderson/Steve Hobbs) debate at 7 PM in Schnee­beck Hall at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Puget Sound in Taco­ma. (UPDATE: This debate was can­celed.)
  • Sun­day, Octo­ber 23rd: U.S. Sen­ate can­di­date forum (Pat­ty Murray/Tiffany Smi­ley) at 5 PM at the Myr­tle Wold­son Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter at Gon­za­ga Uni­ver­si­ty in Spokane, in part­ner­ship with the Spokesman-Review and League of Women Voters.
  • Tues­day, Octo­ber 25th: 9th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict debate (Doug Basler/Adam Smith) at 2 PM in Pig­ott Hall on the cam­pus of Seat­tle Uni­ver­si­ty, in part­ner­ship with Braver Angels.
  • Tues­day, Octo­ber 25th: U.S. Sen­ate debate (Pat­ty Murray/Tiffany Smi­ley) at 7 PM in Pig­ott Hall on the cam­pus of Seat­tle Uni­ver­si­ty (pre­sum­ing both can­di­dates are avail­able and will­ing to attend).
  • Fri­day, Octo­ber 28th: 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict debate (Matt Larkin/Kim Schri­er) at 7 PM in McConnell Audi­to­ri­um at Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in Ellensburg.

“This is an excit­ing elec­tion sea­son, and we are pleased to play an inte­gral role in facil­i­tat­ing can­di­date debates and mak­ing sure as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see them,” said Ali­cia Crank, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Seat­tle City­Club, the Coali­tion’s orga­niz­er. “Thanks to our high­er edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ty and media part­ners, the Wash­ing­ton State Debate Coali­tion is expand­ing its civic ser­vice this year to include debates in com­mu­ni­ties across Washington.”

“From the envi­ron­ment and edu­ca­tion to the econ­o­my and elec­tions, it is crit­i­cal that this year’s can­di­dates share their vision for the future and that we pro­vide vot­ers with direct access to leaders.”

TVW, Wash­ing­ton State’s equiv­a­lent of C‑SPAN, will tele­vise the events and pro­vide tech­ni­cal lead­er­ship to make them acces­si­ble to Washingtonians.

“TVW is proud to part­ner with the WSDC on this year’s debates and pro­vide vot­ers with direct, unfil­tered access to can­di­dates seek­ing elect­ed office,” said TVW Pres­i­dent & CEO Renee Rad­cliff Sin­clair. “Debates remain a vital part of our demo­c­ra­t­ic process and the cit­i­zens of Wash­ing­ton deserve to hear direct­ly from the can­di­dates who want to rep­re­sent them. Pro­vid­ing open access to state gov­ern­ment is an inte­gral part of our work and we are excit­ed to be a part of the Debate Coali­tion’s pro­gram­ming again this year.”

The North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute is one of the Coali­tion’s Sup­port­ing Media Part­ners, as you can see from the coali­tion’s web­site.

Repub­li­can U.S. Sen­ate can­di­date Tiffany Smi­ley has been open­ly clam­or­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties to debate Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray, while the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty — which has gone all-in on Smi­ley — has been blam­ing Mur­ray on social net­works for a lack of announced can­di­date debate dates.

Seat­tle Times reporter Jim Brun­ner doc­u­ment­ed their impa­tience yes­ter­day in a sto­ry that looked at past U.S. Sen­ate debates in the state.

Mur­ray’s cam­paign has con­sis­tent­ly said that Mur­ray would par­tic­i­pate in debates, just like in the past, and that the sched­ul­ing was being worked on.

In recent elec­tion cycles, the debate sched­ule has usu­al­ly been announced some­time in Sep­tem­ber. Elec­tion Day is as late as it can be this year (Novem­ber 8th), so this week is about when our team at NPI expect­ed a sched­ule to drop. And not only has it dropped, but it’s more expan­sive than in past years, with events for the 26th LD and the 9th CD. There is no 3rd CD event, however.

We thank City­Club and the Coali­tion for doing the work to wran­gle these events, and we’re look­ing for­ward to cov­er­ing them next month. Mark your calendars!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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