One thing remains clear as we approach Western Iowa congressman Steve King's toughest re-election test of his career. The Republican will debate his Democratic opponent, Christie Vilsack.
But, whether the meetings will be "forums" or "debates" is something the campaigns have issued dueling press releases about.
Wednesday afternoon, Vilsack's campaign issued a release stating the two sides had agreed to a series of ten "debates and forums." Two hours later, the headline on a release from the King campaign read, "Vilsack Abandons Debate Negotiations." That's after a King spokesman said the two sides agreed to issue a joint statement announcing the debates.
The King campaign says it has agreed to just nine "debates". A Vilsack spokesman says that's a format change from the "forums and debates" the two campaigns had discussed. Vilsack spokesman Sam Roecker told KTIV his campaign sent today's press release, "when it was pretty clear they were not negotiating in good faith."
Here's what the two calendars look like: Both campaigns agree to nine meetings. Among the first five are meetings at the Clay County Fair, in Spencer, Iowa, on September 8th.
Also in September, a debate sponsored by KTIV and Northwestern College, in Orange City, on the 27th. That was agreed to late Wednesday afternoon.
The four meetings that follow-- in Sioux City, Fort Dodge, Carroll, and Mason City- all line up for the two campaigns. But, Vilsack wants a tenth debate, sponsored by the Des Moines Register. The King campaign doesn't have that on its schedule.
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