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3 debates set for Pence, Gregg, Boneham

Hoosiers can see the three candidates for governor square off in three televised debates.

Democrat John Gregg, Republican Mike Pence and Libertarian Rupert Boneham will debate one another Oct. 10 in Zionsville, Oct. 17 in South Bend and Oct. 25 at the public TV station in Fort Wayne.

The first two debates will have a live audience; the Fort Wayne event at WFWA-TV will be viewed only on TV.

The candidates will answer questions submitted by the public at the Indiana Debate Commission’s website.

The three candidates for Senate – Democrat Joe Donnelly, Libertarian Andrew Horning and Republican Richard Mourdock – will meet Oct. 15 in Indianapolis and Oct. 23 in New Albany.

More information on getting tickets to attend the debates will be released later.

Kevin Boyd, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in Indiana’s 3rd District, complained Tuesday that Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman apparently declined invitations to two debates.

At a Courthouse Green news conference, Boyd charged that avoiding the public “has been Mr. Stutzman’s way of operating. He has seldom held town meetings. He likes his questions controlled and with his advance knowledge.”

Boyd said he had accepted debate invitations from groups in Fort Wayne and Kendallville. He said Stutzman agreed to the Kendallville offer but later withdrew.

Stutzman said in a statement: “The two debates our campaign has been approached about so far have not worked because of scheduling conflicts. We’ve not been approached about others.”

Stutzman added, “I’m open to a debate that the members of the media would help facilitate, which we’ve mentioned to media outlets.”

The Educational Opportunity Center, the Fort Wayne League of Women Voters and the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education tried to arrange the Fort Wayne debate.

“There were scheduling issues, and we just canceled it,” said Willa Kline, head of The Educational Opportunity Center.

Boyd said Kendallville debate organizers included the Kendallville Public Library Legislative Committee and KPC Media Group.

Boyd announced he will have 11 town hall meetings from Sept. 22 through Oct. 6.

“And I invite Mr. Stutzman to tag along with me as I tour the district,” Boyd told reporters.