Political Notebook

Renteria, Valadao agree to four congressional debates, two of them in Spanish

Curious about the political positions of 21st Congressional District candidates David Valadao and Amanda Renteria? Looks like there will be plenty of opportunities to get familiar with Valadao, the incumbent Hanford Republican, and Renteria, the Democratic challenger from Sanger.

Right now, they are scheduled to meet in four debates.

First up is October 4th, where they will clash at Fresno State. The debate will air on Univision stations in Fresno (KFTV Channel 21) and Bakersfield at a later date. Univision is the sponsor. This debate is in Spanish.

Next up is a one-hour live debate sponsored by CBS Eyewitness News and California State University, Bakersfield. The debate will be held Oct. 7th from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Cal State Bakersfield.

The following night, KSEE (Channel 24.1) in Fresno along with its fellow NBC affiliate in Bakersfield will host another hourlong debate from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. that will air live in both media markets.

That same day the two will do a 30-minute debate for Bakersfield Telemundo. It will air at a later date and is also in Spanish. Neither side will use translators in the two Spanish-language debates.

As with most political campaigns setting up debates, all this is not without some controversy.

Valadao’s campaign says it agreed to do a radio debate on KMJ (AM 580), but Renteria refused. The Renteria campaign countered that it was already booked on the days KMJ wanted, and suggested a mid-October date, which the station considered “really late” in the election. Mail ballots go out Oct. 6.

Renteria’s campaign in turn said Valadao has declined multiple debate invitations from Radio Bilingue (KSJV, 91.5).