California Gubernatorial Candidates Can’t Agree on Debate Terms; CNN Shelves Plan to Host Faceoff

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With less than two months until election day, California’s two gubernatorial contenders remained locked in a standoff over whether they’ll meet to discuss the issues facing the state.

The debate over debates marked a new chapter this week when plans for a Oct. 1 faceoff hosted by CNN fell apart, a network source confirmed on Tuesday. Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom had agreed to that debate, while Republican John Cox had not committed, expressing concerns about the the event’s format and moderators.

Cox, who agreed to four other debates that Newsom declined, said last week he would participate in the CNN debate only if it focused on housing, cost of living, water and other California-specific issues, and if a California journalist was included as a moderator. Newsom’s campaign said Cox was trying to limit the scope of questions asked.

As both campaigns point fingers about how the CNN debate sputtered, another potential venue has emerged: a debate hosted by KQED, the San Francisco-based public radio station. Newsom has accepted the station’s invitation and KQED is working with both campaigns to nail down a date.

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