Krist seeks one more televised debate; Ricketts campaign calls it ‘publicity stunt’

September 23, 2018

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bob Krist on Thursday urged Gov. Pete Ricketts to “pick up the phone and call me” so they can personally agree to hold one more televised debate before the Nov. 6 election.

“Governor, let’s leave the attorneys and staff out of this,” Krist said. “You have my number; call me.”

Ricketts campaign communications director Matthew Trail dismissed Krist’s proposal as “nothing more than a publicity stunt.”

“Dan Parsons (Krist’s campaign communications director) can pick up the phone or shoot me an email any time should the Krist campaign actually want to discuss debates,” Trail said.

“Governor Ricketts will remain focused on the voters’ priority: the business of the state of Nebraska,” he said.

Krist proposed that the two candidates accept an invitation from KETV in Omaha to conduct a debate in its studio that could be televised statewide by Nebraska Educational Telecommunications and made available nationally on C-SPAN.

“Nebraska voters deserve a fair and open discussion of the most important issues facing our state,” Krist said. “Let’s get this done.”

Ricketts and Krist debated at the State Fair in Grand Island on Aug. 30.

A second debate that had been scheduled in Wayne on Friday was cancelled after the two campaigns failed to reach agreement on terms of the event, including television coverage. No other gubernatorial debates are scheduled.

The debate proposed by KETV would be moderated by KETV anchor Rob McCartney and feature questions from KETV reporters. It would be held in KETV’s Omaha studio without an audience.

KETV has indicated an interest in partnering with NET, Krist said.

Trail said that Krist sabotaged the Wayne debate by “refusing a meeting between our staffs.”

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