Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will take part in a live televised debate this fall in Charleston, according to an announcement from the Capito campaign.
“I welcome the chance to debate the issues that matter most to West Virginians, and the opportunity to discuss my proven record of fighting for West Virginia families versus Natalie Tennant’s record of defending President Obama and his job-killing, anti-coal policies,” Capito said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
Republican Capito and Democrat Tennant are vying to replace retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
The Tennant campaign agreed to participate in the event in late June, and criticized Capito at the time for not committing to the event.
“I am glad to see Congresswoman Capito has finally accepted my challenge to debate and give West Virginians the opportunity they deserve to compare our very different records and visions for West Virginia,” Tennant said in a statement Thursday from her campaign. “Make no mistake, Washington politicians aren’t on the ballot, this race is about West Virginia.”
A Tennant campaign spokeswoman said the secretary agreed to debate invitations from media outlets in Bridgeport and Beckley. The Capito campaign has not officially agreed to participate in those events.
A Capito campaign spokeswoman said both candidates are participating in a West Virginia Chamber of Commerce forum at the end of the month.
The West Virginia Press Association, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and AARP are working in conjunction to host the event.
“We are excited to have the congresswoman participate,” said Don Smith, president of the press association.
“We think it will be a very informative and useful event for the residents of West Virginia.”
Capito also requested every candidate who has qualified to be on the ballot for the election also be invited to participate in the debate. John Buckley, a former state lawmaker in Virginia, is running as the Libertarian Party candidate. Perennial politico Bob Henry Baber is running as the Mountain Party candidate.
Smith said the debate coordinators were looking at additional invitations and would make a final determination in the near future.
The debate is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in Charleston. More details about the location will be available sometime soon, Smith said.
The General Election is Nov. 4.