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Alaska Gov. Parnell commits to candidate debates around the state

Alex DeMarban
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has committed to a series of gubernatorial candidate debates and forums in the lead-up to the primary and general elections. Loren Holmes photo

After getting hammered by his opponents for dodging debates, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s re-election campaign said on Tuesday that the governor will participate in a “full slate” of eight debates between now and the November general election, with the first debate set for later this month.

Parnell will debate at two Anchorage events in April, two in August in Fairbanks and Kodiak and four in October in Ketchikan, Soldotna, Fairbanks and Anchorage, his campaign said. Three of the debates will come before the Aug. 19 primary election, while the rest will come before the general election on Nov. 4. 

Parnell’s competition, independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott, have criticized the governor for not attending candidate forums and debates.

The Parnell campaign has said the governor would not debate until the Legislature ended its session, set for April 20, because of the urgent matters being discussed in Juneau. Nonetheless, Parnell has participated in fundraisers in Anchorage during the session.

Parnell’s first debate with Walker and Mallott is set for April 28 at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. 

Here are the debates Parnell has agreed to: 

Primary election debates

• April 28: Anchorage, hosted by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.
• April 30: Anchorage, hosted by the AARP in partnership with the Anchorage School District and the Alaska Retired Educators Association.
• Aug. 12: Fairbanks, hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

General election debates

• Aug. 28: Kodiak, hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.
• Oct. 1: Ketchikan, hosted by the Ketchikan Daily News.
• Oct. 8: Soldotna, hosted by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce.
• Oct. 21: Fairbanks, hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.
• Oct. 28: Anchorage, hosted by KTVA Channel 11 and the Anchorage Daily News. 

Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)alaskadispatch.com.

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