Little, Simpson, Fulcher decline debate invitations

It’s fall debate season, but several top-ticket Republican incumbents are no-shows.

Gov. Brad Little and U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher have turned down “The Idaho Debates” — a series of statewide televised events co-sponsored by Idaho Public Television, the Idaho Press Club and the League of Women Voters. Consequently, the gubernatorial and two congressional debates are off.

“Gov. Little is confident the people of Idaho know his strong track record of cutting taxes for families and businesses and directing historic investments to Idaho’s children, roads, and critical water projects,” campaign manager Hayden Rogers said Monday. “We are confident Idahoans know what Gov. Little stands for based on his clear record of delivering results for the people of our great state.”
Other debates are canceled as well. Democratic treasurer’s candidate Deborah Silver declined to debate. Democratic secretary of state’s candidate Shawn Keenan did not respond to an invitation from debate organizers. Democratic controller’s candidate Dianna David and Constitution Party candidate Miste Gardner did not respond to invitations.

The no-shows leave four debates on the calendar:

  • U.S. Senate: Republican incumbent Mike Crapo, Democrat David Roth and independent candidate Scott “Oh” Cleveland will debate at 2 p.m. on Oct. 3. It will air live online, and will air on Idaho Public Television on Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. MDT and 8 p.m. PDT.
  • Attorney General: Republican Raul Labrador and Democrat Tom Arkoosh will debate on Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. MDT and 7 p.m. PDT.
  • Superintendent of public instruction: Republican Debbie Critchfield and Democrat Terry Gilbert will debate on Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. MDT and 7 p.m. PDT.
  • Lieutenant governor: Republican Scott Bedke and Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler will debate on Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. MDT and 7 p.m. PDT.

All debates will run 60 minutes, except the U.S. Senate debate, which will run 90 minutes.

Debates will air with Spanish closed captioning, and Spanish closed captioning will also be available online.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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