Gov. Norm Bangerter announced Friday afternoon a list of 21 gubernatorial debates he plans to attend in August, September and October as the Republican candidate for governor.
The Deseret News reported earlier Friday a list of 10 engagements Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson has agreed to attend.But a comparison of the two lists shows that both candidates have so far agreed to accept only five of the same invitations.
Wilson says independent candidate Merrill Cook should be invited to all the debates and said the sponsors of the debates he's accepted have agreed that Cook will be invited.
Bangerter, in a letter to Wilson written Friday, says "the participation of independent candidates in gubernatorial debates should be left up to the sponsoring organization. My decision to accept or decline debate invitations will not be determined by whether or not independent candidates are included."
However, nobody has explained how one candidate can debate if he is the only one to appear.
Bangerter, in his letter to Wilson, said, "I still believe it is feasible that we participate in at least 30 debates and joint appearances before election day."
Here is the list of invitations Bangerter has accepted, with those that Wilson has accepted so noted:
Aug. 25, noon, Women's Council of Realtors; Sept. 7, noon, Salt Lake Board of Realtors; Sept. 10, 10 a.m., Utah Mining Association, Park City; Sept. 11, 10:35 p.m., "Take 2," KUTV Channel 2; Sept. 12, Utah Automobile Dealers Association; Sept. 12, 7 p.m., Utah State University, Logan; and Sept. 14, 7:30 a.m., Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Sept. 14, 2 p.m., Utah League of Cities & Towns (Wilson will attend); Sept. 15, 7 p.m., Utah Association of Realtors, St. George (Wilson will attend); Sept. 16, noon, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce; Sept. 21, 7:30 a.m., Utah Petroleum Association; Sept. 21, noon, South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce; Sept. 22, 11:30 a.m., Sandy, West Jordan, Murray, West Valley Chambers of Commerce; and Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m. Women in Management, LDS Business College.
Oct. 5, noon, Utah Valley Community College, Orem; Oct. 6, 11 a.m., Southern Utah State College, Cedar City (Wilson will attend); Oct. 7, noon, University of Utah; Oct. 13, 10:30 a.m., Weber State College Student Convocation; Oct. 19, noon, Bountiful Area Chamber of Commerce; Oct. 25, noon, Salt Lake Rotary Club (Wilson will attend); and Oct. 26, 7 p.m., Salt Lake League of Women Voters (Wilson will attend).
Bangerter, in his letter to Wilson, said "I would like to schedule debates at Brigham Young University and in the communities of Kanab, Vernal, Blanding, Brigham City (and perhaps others) in order to assure that the widest possible audience is able to personally view and consider the candidates.
"I would also welcome joint appearances with you, during prime time, on KSL TV, KSL Radio, KALL Radio, KUTV, KTVX, KUED and KBYU."
In a postcript, Bangerter added:
"I have never agreed to a joint appearance and then sent a surrogate instead. I have, however, been unable to accept some appearances and, with the agreement of the sponsoring organization, sent a surrogate in my place. Undoubtedly this will continue to be the case."
As reported in Friday's Deseret News, here is the list of debates Wilson has accepted, with those Bangerter has also already accepted so marked:
Sept. 2, AFL-CIO, 10:30 a.m.; Sept. 14, League of Cities and Towns, 2 p.m. (Bangerter will attend); Sept. 15, Utah Association of Realtors meeting in St. George, 7 p.m. (Bangerter will attend); Oct. 6, KUED and SUSC in Cedar City, 11 a.m. (Bangerter will attend); Salt Lake Ministerial Association, noon; Oct. 25, Salt Lake Rotary Club, noon (Bangerter will attend); Oct. 26, League of Women Voters, 7 p.m. (Bangerter will attend); and Nov. 1, before various Ogden business groups, noon.