Republican Rick Snyder and Democrat Virg Bernero, Michigan's major party candidates for governor, have agreed to one debate.
They will duke it out in a debate hosted by the Center for Michigan at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at a Detroit public television station in Wixom.
Snyder and Bernero agreed to debate after meeting with each other Wednesday in Lansing, though their campaigns put different spin on the debate announcement.
“I look forward to talking about my positive vision for Michigan future and debating my opponent on the issues that are truly important to Michiganders,” Snyder said in a statement. “This debate format will give voters across the state a chance to listen to each candidate live on the same stage, answering the same questions.”
The Bernero campaign sent out statement saying Snyder had "backpedaled" in agreeing to just one debate.
"I still don't see why all of this negotiation is necessary to have a few debates," Bernero said in the statement. "It's not rocket science. Us two guys on a stage, a few people asking questions important to Michigan voters, put it on TV and you've got a debate. I continue to call on Michigan TV stations or any other organization that wants to host televised debates to make arrangements, and I'll accept their offers. Every Michigan voter deserves a chance to see where we truly stand on the issues."
In addition to the traditional debate, Snyder said he will continue talk directly with voters during his Reinvent Michigan Town Hall tour, of which he’s held 59. He will also speak and take questions at the Detroit Economic Club’s Candidate Forum on Oct. 7 and is working with other television and radio stations interested in broadcasting his town halls meetings, his campaign said.
After the Aug. 3 primary, Snyder proposed three debates and Bernero proposed eight. Negotiations over scheduling the debates broke down earlier this month with both campaigns accusing the other of causing the breakdown.
In lieu of debates, voters have had to settle for mostly negative attack ads directed at the two candidates.
Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc.