Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will take part in three debates this fall and urged the two Democratic hopefuls to agree to dates now so planning can take place before the Aug. 26 primary.
Likely Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, who’s leading primary foe Nan Rich in surveys of registered voters, said Tuesday in St. Petersburg he would agree to the debates but called on Scott to schedule more.
Scott said he will participate in the following debates hosted by:
♦ Oct. 10, Telemundo, location to be announced.
♦ Oct. 15, Leadership Florida, Broward College.
♦ Oct. 21, CNN, location to be announced.
The announcement made no mention of other proposed gubernatorial debates, including two in the Tampa area.
“The great thing about debates is that they allow candidates to discuss their vision and their plans directly with the voters. The only other time I ran for office I participated in debate in both the primary and general elections,” Scott said in a news release.
“Candidates who refuse to debate show a disdain for the voters and for their opponent. I look forward to a great exchange of ideas with either Charlie Crist or Nan Rich, whoever emerges from the primary in late August.”
Crist, the former Republican governor now running as a Democrat, will face Rich, the former state Senate minority leader, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
The general election is Nov. 4.
Rich has called on Crist to debate her since he entered the race, but Crist has declined. He has said he is focused against running against Scott.
Crist, appearing at a news conference Tuesday morning, accused Scott of trying to limit the debate schedule.
“We can’t debate enough,” Crist said. “The fact that Gov. Scott wants to try to limit and control this doesn’t surprise me. He tries to control everything.”
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