Rep. Tom Cotton has finally gotten on board a televised debate with Sen. Mark Pryor sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. It will be broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 (a Tuesday) by KATV, KAIT and KHBS/KHOG. Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics will moderate, joined by three TV reporters.
In the long-running debate debate, Pryor had resisted Cotton’s call for multiple open-ended debates around the state, but had quickly accepted the Fayetteville chamber proposal. The Cotton camp, slow to confirm the Fayetteville event as it pushed for other options, complains that this debate is limited to domestic issues. Both camps issued prepared statements making the pitch that the other had been avoiding discussion of tough issues.
This apparently will be the only “live” broadcast debate. (We still hope — but don’t hold our breath — that Mark and Tom would drop by the Arkansas Times podcast studio some Friday afternoon to chat. Invitation still stands)
I’m checking with AETN on its debate plans. It typically tapes debates for later broadcast. If Cotton will agree to participate — Pryor has said he would — it’s a good opportunity to talk about those foreign policy issues not to be discussed in Fayetteville.
In addition to the Senate debate, I’m hoping for a full roster of AETN programs on congressional and statewide races. Dennis Milligan v. Karen Garcia, the state treasurer candidates, is my sleeper for a reprise of the boffo Charlie Daniels-Janet Huckabee matchup in 2002. Karen should bring the Krispy Kreme.
In other campaign news, Pryor said he’d have a rally Saturday morning in Little Rock — media invited — with volunteers who’ll be knocking on doors as part of the field effort to get out the vote. The Pryor campaign thinks its 40 field offices and a volunteer effort heavily relying on people who haven’t been involved in politics before is unprecedented. The future of the U.S. Senate may ride on it.