King, Vilsack will meet in series of debates, forums

Thursday, July 12, 2012
Rep. Steve King

Clay County appearance generates conflict

Christie Vilsack announced her intention, Wednesday, to accept a series of ten debates and public forums with Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron) to take place ahead of November's election.

A Clay County forum is among the scheduled events, set for Sept. 8, the first day of the Clay County Fair.

The Daily Reporter, in cooperation with Lakes area print and broadcast media outlets, partnering with the host Clay County Fair, had issued a request in early June, to both campaigns, to conduct a debate on the first Saturday of the Clay County Fair at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

Instead, both parties initially agreed to make the Spencer date a forum site - where each candidate would speak for a period of time, but would not engage one another in a debate format.

Christie Vilsack

A Daily Reporter representative contacted campaign officials for both candidates, asking them to reconsider and agree to debate, rather than conduct a forum.

King's Campaign Manager, Jake Ketzner, indicated a willingness to change the Clay County forum to a debate; however Sam Roecker, communication's director with Vilsack's campaign, said that they will stick to the forum format at the Clay County Fair.

"The King Campaign has agreed to nine debates in principal," Ketzner said, after releasing a schedule with Clay County listed as a debate.

"At this point our campaign continues to work with debate sponsors to finalize details, as Congressman King has a strong desire to share his plan to restore our American Dream and make sure 4th District voters finally learn where Christie Vilsack stands on the issues," Ketzner said.

"We look forward to giving Congressman King the opportunity to explain his record and have a serious conversation about the issues," said Christie Vilsack for Iowa Campaign Manager Jessica Vanden Berg.

King and Vilsack representatives reportedly met privately on Thursday, June 7, to discuss the debate schedule and proposals. The groups, according to the King for Congress campaign, had agreed to issue a joint statement announcing the debates.

The King for Congress campaign announced it will only accept additional debate proposals if they are in the Lincoln-Douglas debate format.

"These events will make the choice in front of voters even more clear," Vanden Berg said. "Christie Vilsack is running for Congress because the small towns and cities in the 4th Congressional District deserve someone who will fight to create jobs and economic opportunity. Congressman King has had 10 years to do that in Congress, but he has been more concerned about his own interests."

Vilsack's campaign claimed details of each event continue to be finalized between the campaigns and sponsors across the district. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks.

4th Congressional District Debate and Forum Schedule

- Sept. 6: WHO Radio Debate (7 p.m., 1040 AM and

- Sept. 8: Clay County Forum

- Sept. 17: Franklin County Forum sponsored by the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

- Sept. 22: Ames debate sponsored by the Ames Tribune, Iowa State University, Ames Chamber of Commerce, and League of Women Voters (7 p.m., Iowa State University)

- Oct. 9: Sioux City debate sponsored by the Sioux City Journal and KCAU-TV

- Oct. 23: Fort Dodge Candidate Forum sponsored by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Iowa Central Community College, the Fort Dodge Messenger, and Three Eagles Communications (7 p.m., Iowa Central Community College)

- Oct. 25: Carroll - The Iowa Press Debates: Fourth Congressional District

- Oct. 30: Mason City Debate sponsored by Three Eagles Communications, Mason City Globe Gazette and KIMT-TV (7 p.m., North Iowa Area Community College)

- TBD: KCCI / Des Moines Register Debate

- TBD: Orange City debate sponsored by KTIV-TV and Northwestern College

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