Hanford Republican David Valadao and Fresno Democrat TJ Cox have agreed to terms on a live, televised debate on Oct. 25.
The closed-door debate will take place at KGET’s Bakersfield studio at 7 p.m. and will air on KGET and fellow NBC affiliate KSEE 24 in Fresno. The two candidates for California’s 21st Congressional District seat will debate in English for one hour with a two-minute break at the halfway mark.
Anchors Jim Scott of KGET and Evan Onstot of KSEE will moderate the debate.
The agreement comes after more than a month of posturing by both candidates, who each sent a series of challenges to the other.
On Aug. 20, Valadao publicly challenged Cox to an early version of the KGET debate that included an additional 30-minute debate to be done in Spanish for Telemundo.
The following day, Cox challenged Valadao to two English debates in Delano and Lemoore, as well as a Spanish debate in Mendota. Cox’s campaign then said it was open to the KGET proposal, but pushed Valadao to participate in a public debate or town hall.
Cox accepted a request for an Oct. 15 town hall meeting hosted by Radio Bilingue in coordination with National Public Radio affiliate KQED’s local bureau, but Valadao declined. That event will be recorded and air the following day.
Valadao and Cox become the second crop of local congressional candidates to finalize terms for a debate.
Republican Elizabeth Heng will debate District 16 Rep. Jim Costa, a Democrat, during a public event to be hosted and broadcast by KFRE CW59, KMJ News Talk 580 AM, 105.9 FM and ValleyPBS on Oct. 23. The two are expected to debate several times leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
Democratic challenger Andrew Janz has accepted a variety of invitations to debate Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican, but Nunes has yet to accept any requests. It seems highly unlikely any debate will occur between these two candidates for California’s 22nd District seat.