Spin Control

5th Cong Dist debate back on (really)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Daryl Romeyn will debate after all on Tuesday, it seems.

The incumbent Republican congresswoman and the Democratic challenger, who each at one point turned down an invitation to debate for scheduling reasons, reportedly have cleared their respective calendars for Tuesday afternoon. They'll tape a debate in the afternoon that will be aired at 7 p.m. on KXLY-TV and 8 p.m. on KSPS-TV.

"Both sides have agreed to be there tomorrow," Jill Johnson, the producer of the debate, said Monday morning.

Each candidate came under fire last week for turning down the debate, which has been under discussion since mid August. McMorris Rodgers' campaign declined to participate last Monday, citing "scheduling constraints," prompting Romeyn to say her refusal was denying him a chance to be heard.

McMorris Rodgers staff contacted Johnson Friday morning, saying they would clear her schedule for the debate. But on Friday evening, Romeyn told KXLY-TV that he wouldn't agree because he'd scheduled something after she turned down the debate and he couldn't get out of his commitment. If McMorris Rodgers wanted to debate him, she should appear at one of the places he intended to be, he said.

Sunday night, however, Romeyn contacted Johnson and said he'd be willing to debate after all. After contacting the two stations sponsoring the debate, she said the debate could be taped at 3 p.m. for broadcast that evening

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