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5th District congressional debate is back on

Mon., Oct. 18, 2010, 10:29 a.m.

Democrat Darryl Romeyn, left, is challenging Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. (The Spokesman-Review)
Democrat Darryl Romeyn, left, is challenging Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. (The Spokesman-Review)

The candidates in Washington’s 5th congressional district will debate after all, on Tuesday.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the incumbent Republican, and Democratic challenger Daryl Romeyn reportedly have cleared their 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 this 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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