Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis has agreed to a debate with Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum.
On Aug. 28, Rep. Ron DeSantis easily won the GOP nomination in the race for Florida governor, a position to be vacated by term-limited Gov. Rick Scott (R). Meanwhile, Andrew Gillum, who had polled in third place for much of the primary season, pulled off a surprising upset and clinched the Democratic nomination.
So far, only one debate has been agreed to by both parties. The televised debate will be hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Oct. 24 in Davie, Florida.
Why did Gillum call our DeSantis?
Gillum had called out DeSantis on Twitter for not yet responding to an invitation to debate that Gillum had offered the day before.
I’m proud to accept a @CNN Town Hall Debate in Tampa so Floridians can hear about our uplifting vision. Meanwhile, it’s been 24 hours & @RonDeSantisFL still refuses to accept even 1 debate offer. #BringItHome https://t.co/YPY9GflACH
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) September 16, 2018
How did DeSantis respond?
In a tweet Monday, DeSantis suggested four other debates in addition to the Leadership Florida one: "CBS Miami with Jim Defede, Telemundo in Orlando, Fox News and CNN." He added that he would be willing to debate Gillum "whenever possible."
We’ve accepted invites to the following debates: Leadership Florida, CBS Miami with Jim Defede, Telemundo in Orlando, Fox News and CNN.
The bottom line is I’ll debate @AndrewGillum whenever possible—because his high-tax, far-left policies would be a disaster for Florida.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) September 17, 2018
Gillum meanwhile had accepted invitations to Univision and a town hall on CNN. DeSantis has specified that he is willing to participate in a debate on CNN, but not a town hall.
While the primary debates this year featured candidates in both parties who largely seemed to agree with their opponents, the remaining candidates are vastly different.
Gillum stands to the left of many in his own party on fiscal issues and has called for the abolition of ICE and the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, DeSantis managed to snag an endorsement from Trump early in his campaign, which may have given him an edge during the primary.