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.”
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.
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!