PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For decades, candidates for governor have debated each other in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, but this year, Governor Tom Wolf says he’ll only do one debate, prompting criticism from a former governor.
Wolf agreed to just one debate with his challenger, Scott Wagner, a Republican businessman and former state senator.
“I think it’s disappointing,” former governor Tom Corbett said.
Back in 2014, Corbett agreed to three debates with Wolf.
“I thought it was important for us to be able to go around the state and allow people to see a debate between two candidates, to make a comparison, and we did it regionally,” Corbett said.
Wolf insists that one 45-minute debate before the Pennsylvania chamber in Harrisburg, moderated by game show host Alex Trebek, is enough.
“I think Governor Wolf is going to continue traveling the commonwealth. He’s going to meet with Pennsylvanians to discuss the issues that are most important to them,” Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf For Governor, said. “Look, what I think is more important here is that Scott Wagner is the first gubernatorial candidate in more than 20 years not to release his tax returns.”
Corbett thinks he knows the real reason Wolf won’t participate in all three debates.
“There’s always a risk that there’s going to be a faux pas, a misstatement or whatever, so the less you put yourself on camera, the less you can harm yourself,” Corbett said. “And obviously that’s a possibility if you limit yourself to one appearance.”
KDKA-TV has offered to host one of the gubernatorial debates, but we have been turned down.