Walz agrees to two debates ahead of Election Day

MPR News, Gray Television will host debates

Attendants are listening gubernatorial debate
A packed house filled the Wick Buildings Farm Fest Center during the first head-to-head gubernatorial debate between Gov. Tim Walz and Dr. Scott Jensen. Walz on Saturday agreed to two more debates ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Jackson Forderer for MPR News

DFL Gov. Tim Walz has agreed to two debates next month leading up to the Nov. 8 general election. The first is being hosted by KTTC-TV in Rochester, and airing on its fellow Gray Television-owned stations that serve Minnesota: KBJR in Duluth, KEYC in Mankato and KXJB in Fargo/Moorhead.

The second debate will air on MPR News on Oct. 28.

Both will be streamed on the internet.

“The additional debates will bring the total number of debates for the campaign to three, including FarmFest,” the Walz campaign said in a statement. “This is the same number of debates that were held in the U.S. Senate elections won by Amy Klobuchar in 2018 and Tina Smith in both 2018 and 2020.”

But Scott Jensen, Walz’s Republican challenger, called the agreement “too little, too late.” He said the two debates will happen after the start of early voting in Minnesota, which begins on Sept. 23.

“None of the debates Tim Walz has agreed to will be in front of Minnesota voters and none will even air on metro television,” Jensen said in a statement. “Let me repeat: Tim Walz has not agreed to a single debate that will air on Twin Cities television.”

If the number remains at three, it would be the fewest number of scheduled debates in a gubernatorial race in several cycles.

Correction (Sept. 18, 2022): An earlier version of this story provided the wrong date for the start of early voting.

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