NewsPublic Affairs / October 19, 2020

UPDATE: Virus Worry Prompts Indiana Governor Debate Format Change

From left to right, Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, is up for re-election against Democrat Dr. Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater. - Alan Mbathi/IPB News

From left to right, Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, is up for re-election against Democrat Dr. Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater.

Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Updated Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The debate set for Tuesday night among the three candidates for Indiana governor has been changed to a virtual format in what organizers said was a coronavirus safety move.

The nonprofit Indiana Debate Commission said Monday that the candidates will all be present at the WFYI-TV studio in Indianapolis but they and the moderator will be in separate spaces as they appear by video for the hour-long debate that begins at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

The group said it has discussed the new format with campaign leaders for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, Democratic challenger Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater.

Coronavirus precautions had already meant there wouldn’t be a studio audience for the debate.

The format change follows Myers last week asking for the debate commission to require COVID-19 testing for the candidates ahead of the debate. Organizers said any testing was up to the candidates and wouldn’t be required.

The debate comes as Holcomb has large fundraising and organization advantages over his challengers.

Myers has been pushing for more aggressive actions to control COVID-19 spread, while some conservatives angry over Holcomb’s coronavirus orders have said they’ll vote for Rainwater, who is an opponent of the statewide mask mandate.

A second gubernatorial debate is set for Oct. 27.


Original Post

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The three candidates for Indiana governor are scheduled to face each other Tuesday night in the first of two televised debates.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, Democratic challenger Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater are set for the hour-long session sponsored by the nonprofit Indiana Debate Commission starting at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

Coronavirus precautions mean there won’t be an audience as the debate takes place at the WFYI-TV studio in Indianapolis. Myers last week asked for the debate commission to require COVID-19 testing for the candidates ahead of the debate, but the group didn’t immediately take that step.

The debate comes as Holcomb has large fundraising and organization advantages over his challengers.

Myers has been pushing for more aggressive actions to control COVID-19 spread, while some conservatives angry over Holcomb’s coronavirus orders have said they’ll vote for Rainwater, who is an opponent of the statewide mask mandate.

The second gubernatorial debate is set for Oct. 27.

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