Arizona governor candidates square off in Clean Elections primary debates

Arizona PBS will broadcast the Democratic primary debate for governor between state Sen. Steve Farley, Kelly Fryer and David Garcia as well as a talk with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Bennett this week.

Sponsored by Arizona Clean Elections, it all starts on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with Bennett who is challenging Gov. Doug Ducey in the Republican primary. Ducey was invited but declined the opportunity to participate in the debate. Bennett will sit down with “Arizona Horizon” host Ted Simons for a live talk at 5:30 p.m., re-airing again at 10 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 2, Simons will moderate the Democratic primary debate live at 5:30 p.m., re-airing again at 10 p.m. The debate follows others for corporation commission, superintendent of public instruction and secretary of state hosted earlier this summer.

“Our debates on ‘Arizona Horizon’ give viewers and voters a chance to see who these candidates really are,” Simons said. “The questions are firm but fair, with the resulting dialogue informative and, at times, downright spirited. You can learn a lot about a political candidate.”

All Clean Elections debates will be posted online on the Clean Elections website within 72 hours following the debate, and will remain online for voters to watch throughout the election. The debates are also available on Arizona PBS’ website.

The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by voters in 1998, is administered by a five-member, non-partisan commission. The act established a system for voter education, clean funding for candidate campaigns and campaign finance enforcement.

Candidates who participate in Clean Elections to run for office are required to attend one primary election debate unless they are running unopposed. Candidates who are not running with Clean Elections funding are invited to join the debate, but their attendance is optional.

For more than 35 years, “Arizona Horizon” has focused on in-depth coverage of issues of concern to Arizonans. The award-winning nightly public affairs program focuses on politics, consumer affairs, the environment, business and health, among other topics.

A media room will be set aside where credentialed members of the media can view the debate. Audio and video feeds for media will be made available. Candidates may make themselves available for media interviews following the debate. Media check-in will be located on the fifth floor of the Cronkite School building.

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