Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Gubernatorial candidates face off in three debates

After much deliberation, the Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates have agreed on three central debates this October in an effort to inform citizens of their platforms.

The first will be Oct. 4 in Milwaukee hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Democratic candidate Jim Doyle has been to multiple debates prior to the primaries with his competitors Tom Barrett and Kathleen Falk; however, this will be his first debate with Gov. Scott McCallum.

Debbie Monterrey-Millett, McCallum’s communications director, said the governor has had 65 invitations just for October so far and has agreed to six debates, only three of which Doyle has also accepted.

“It comes to a matter as how much we can fit in,” Monterrey-Millett said. “There is no way a candidate can go to everyone.”

Monterrey-Millett said McCallum has not attended debates prior to the primaries, because there was not much of an interest in the republican primaries.

However, she said McCallum believes the debates are important to getting platforms across, especially with the general elections so close.

“It’s very important to understand what the differences between the candidates are,” Monterrey-Millett said.

She also added it is a different way to get across the candidate’s platform besides television advertisements and print media.

McCallum has also agreed to three other debates that have not yet been accepted by Doyle. Monterrey-Millett said McCallum is unsure if he will attend.

“It is up to the debate organizers to go for it or not,” she said.

One of the other two debates that was agreed on by both the Doyle and McCallum office is on Oct. 14 or 16. It will be in Eau Claire and sponsored by the Western Wisconsin Press Club. The debate will also feature Thompson and green nominee Jim Young.

Another debate will also be held in Milwaukee Oct. 27, hosted by WTMJ-TV.

Doyle has accepted five statewide debate invitations, two of which were not on McCallum’s list.

Bill Christofferson, campaign director for Jim Doyle, said Doyle is pleased with the opportunity to debate with McCallum three times, which has not happened in a gubernatorial race for 20 years. Both campaigns are also looking into more debates.

“I think we should focus on the fact that we have three already, maybe more,” Christofferson said. “We think it is important for the voters to get a chance to see candidates side-by-side.”

He also noted that Doyle has appeared in 30 to 35 debates prior to the primary elections with Democratic candidates Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett, as well as Libertarian candidate Ed Thompson. These appearances, Cristofferson said, proves Doyle has experience in debates.

Oct. 4 will be McCallum’s first debate appearance in this election.

“McCallum is the guy that never showed for any of them,” Christofferson said. “He owes the people an explanation of why they should vote for him. We hope to get that from the debates.”

Josh Morby, media director for Thompson’s campaign, said he has been invited to four debates. Of those, Thompson has been invited to only two of the three debates McCallum and Doyle have been invited to — one of which McCallum has accepted and another that Doyle has accepted.

Thompson said he is willing to attend any debate.

“I will debate Gov. McCallum and Attorney General Doyle anytime, anyplace — 24 hours a day, seven days a week from Rhinelander to Shullsburg, from Kenosha to Superior,” Thompson said. “The more debates the better. It is the best way to inform Wisconsinites about their choices in the governor race.”

Thompson has been to more than 25 forums since the announcement of his candidacy.

“Ed is willing to debate,” Morby said. “It’s more of a disservice for Ed not to attend.”

There are currently no debates scheduled to take place on the University of Wisconsin campus.

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