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Gov. Rick Scott agrees to 3 debates


Gov. Rick Scott's campaign announced today that he agreed to appear in three debates against the Democratic nominee, either former Gov. Charlie Crist or Nan Rich. The debates are all within four weeks of the Nov. 4 general election:

The governor declined to participate in a planned Oct. 7 debate sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, WTSP-10 News and the University of South Florida, which would have been the first of the season. Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said three is enough.

"Three statewide debates will give voters ample opportunity to hear from Gov. Scott and his challenger,' she wrote in an email. "He will be spending the rest of his time traveling the state and meeting with voters."

By signing on to dates later in the election season, many voters many have already made up their minds by the time the two gubernatorial nominees square off.

Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters Sept. 30 through Oct. 7. The early voting window is Oct. 25 through Nov. 1.

Meanwhile, Crist continues to take heat for refusing to debate Rich before the Aug. 26 primary. He lead her in polls and says his focus is on beating Scott in November.

UPDATE: Crist says he agreed to all three debates, as well as four more. In addition to the Times' debate, Crist would also appear at events sponsored by Univision, WESH/NBC affiliates, and Florida Public Radio in conjunction with the Tampa Tribune.

“Rick Scott limiting debates to three is a disservice to voters, but not surprising considering his history of refusing to answer questions to avoid going to jail," Crist said in a statement. "I want to do more debates with the winner of the primary campaign."

2nd UPDATE: Crist has apparently agreed to so many debates he can't keep up with them all. The folks at Florida Blue Key alerted us that he also agreed to attend their debate in Gainesville on Sept. 29, to be aired by FOX affiliates. Crist's campaign confirmed it, bringing his number to eight.

Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is also trying to make sure he won't be left out of the fall debates. His campaign says he accepted invitations to two: the one sponsored by Leadership Florida that both Scott and Crist agreed to and the one in Gainesville that only Crist accepted.

Wyllie is in talks to participate in other debates, but sponsors have not determined if he meets the criteria. Recent polls show he has little chance of winning the election but could serve as a spoiler by siphoning independent votes.


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ed jenkins

Democrat primary voters would like to see debates among their candidates but party leaders are afraid that the scumbag crist will embarrass them and expose unethical arrangements he made with them if forced to debate so they will not allow it. Democrat primary voters including this one have already decided to vote for the nancy lady as she is the one true democrat in this race.

Keith Stegath

Ed, you're obviously angry and disgusted with Crist and Scott - so which one are your going to vote for?

I'm running for Governor because I grew tired of simply writing letters and voicing my disgust at the inept screw-ups ruining our country.

I'm an engineer and innovator; unlike Chuck and Rick, I am a scientist. If you're frustrated by ineffectual letter writing, then you'll need to do more.

Come November, there is another choice.

Voice of reason

Keith if you are seeking ed's support you are in trouble.

Keith Stegath

Voice - You sure? He post are always so fair and balanced!

Voice of reason

Keith your sense of humor might get you my support.

Bill Thompson

The scumbag Scott will have dumped the rest of his $100,000,000 into negative ads to destroy his opponent by then, plus the millions spent by his out of state mysterious shadow groups and the RPOF. This most horrible man will continue to play rope-a-dope, avoiding answering any questions and hoping to run out the clock in his desperate re-election campaign.

Keith Stegath

Voice, if you like sarcasm, check out my published opinion letters. They're in the Topics and Opinions section at:

Be forewarned: If you're a Bush'ie or Chaney'ite, have a defibrillator ready and proceed with caution.

Voice of reason

Keep up the fight for what's right.

Bill Thompson

The scumbag Scott will probably have one of his secretive shadow campaign organizations run ads for the liberterian candidate in order to help Wyllie siphon off votes from the Democratic party candidate.

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