California’s candidates for governor in standoff over debate schedule

The candidates for California governor are debating — about how many times to debate.

Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom’s campaign says he will commit to just one faceoff before the November election, while Republican John Cox is calling for a series of five debates around the state.

Newsom has agreed to an hourlong debate sponsored by CNN, but has turned down offers from Fox News, the San Francisco Chronicle and others to host debates. Cox, a Rancho Santa Fe businessman, has not said whether he will participate in the CNN debate, but agreed to three others.

On Monday, Cox blasted Newsom after the lieutenant governor turned down a debate proposed by the New York Times and National Public Radio.

“Gavin Newsom hid during the entire primary and skipped nearly all of the candidate debates. The California voters I speak with feel forgotten by the political class, and I believe we ought to provide accessibility to the broadest audience possible,” Cox said, noting that the Oct. 1 CNN debate would take place during a professional football game. “Let’s face the voters in real debates with real audiences, and we’ll both discuss the questions California voters care about. For Newsom to call for only one debate and have that debate occur opposite ‘Monday Night Football’ is a complete farce.”

Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom, confirmed the candidate would not participate in the New York Times debate. He countered Cox, saying that the CNN debate would be the 10th Newsom has participated in, and the fifth time the lieutenant governor and Cox have shared a stage.

Read more at the LA Times