Although a bit confusing about who accepted first, it's now official that Rick Scott and Alex Sink will debate at least three times this election season, with the last being a nationally broadcast event to be held on the USF campus in Tampa on CNN on October 25.
The Scott camp announced today in a press release that the Sink campaign had "finally" agreed to the debate at USF that Scott accepted last week, and added this gratuitous shot:
The Scott campaign is glad the Sink campaign finally agreed to this statewide debate, moderated by respected journalist John King of CNN. It was curious that the Sink tried to hold out for a debate on NBC, moderated by former Democrat staffer and Obama sends-a-thrill-up-my-leg opinion maker Chris Matthews.
That followed Team Sink spokeswoman Kyra Jennings needling Scott for not agreeing to more debates earlier in the day:
"While we pushed Rick Scott to stop hiding from the people of Florida and participate in five statewide televised debates, it seems clear he is not going to meet that challenge."
As those candidates work it out, another Democrat, Attorney General candidate Dan Gelber, is accusing GOP rival Pam Bondi of ducking out of debates after a proposed engagement at the University of Florida on October 5 was canceled with Bondi not agreeing to participate.
Gelber, like Sink, has called for a larger number of debates than the Republican. He's asked for six, Bondi says she'll appear in two. It's not an uncharacteristic declaration from the confident state legislator from Miami Beach, who challenged his Democratic opponent Dave Aronberg to nine debates before last month's primary race.
In a press release, the Gelber team introduced the idea of Bondi acting in a contradictory fashion by providing a quote from the former Hillsborough Prosecutor issued when she was challenging her GOP primary opponents before last month's primary.
In a June 24 letter to her Republican primary opponents, Pam Bondi wrote, As we draw closer to the primary election, it is important that the voters receive as much information as possible to make an informed decision To that end, I write to you today to propose that we engage in several formal debates a series of debates will give Republican primary voters a much-needed opportunity to learn about our different backgrounds and vision for Florida.
The Bondi team said two debates should be plenty for the Florida public. Spokeswoman Sandi Copes said, "Pam and her opponent have had multiple opportunities to present their very differing positions on many issues, including recently debating their positions on the fed[eral] health care law on national TV and this past week going back to back on Political Connections and Bay News 9."