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U.S. Senate Candidates Can’t Agree On Debate Schedule

Reported by Katie Schoolov

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has signed on to two debates. Her opponent Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez wants four, but the two haven't agreed to the same debates.

The race between two Democrats to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in California continues to be a sluggish one, but it may get even slower if the two candidates can’t agree on a debate schedule.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ senate campaign has agreed to two debates. The Sacramento Bee, KUVS Univision 19, KVIE, Capital Public Radio and Sacramento State have sponsored one debate for Sept. 20. Another, slated for October 5 in Los Angeles, is co-sponsored by KABC, the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute for Public Affairs and the League of Women Voters.

Harris’ opponent, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, said she can’t attend this month’s debate. She missed a deadline to respond to The Sacramento Bee's debate request and she has not committed to the October event. Sanchez said she has agreed, however, to other debate invitations — just not the ones Harris selected.

“I’ve agreed to four,” Sanchez said. “Why does she not agree to the ones I’ve agreed to? That is the question you need to be asking her.”

Harris’s campaign said it is finished debating debates.

“Four weeks ago, our campaign publicly agreed to the two most fully-formed and highest profile debate proposals we received, one in Northern California and one in Southern California with media hosts that serve both Spanish and English-language audiences,” Harris spokesman Nathan Click said.

“Congresswoman Sanchez has killed the first debate and still refuses to agree to the second," Click said. "If Sanchez wants to debate, she should show up to the KABC debate in Los Angeles on October 5.”

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Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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