Oregon’s two leading candidates for governor can agree on at least one thing. They’ll meet at least five times this fall to debate their visions for the state’s future.
That’s the good news, but with the five meetings scheduled to take place in only four cities, care must be taken to ensure that all Oregonians have the opportunity to watch and listen.
The first debate will be held in Bend on Sept. 24. It will be followed by a Portland debate Sept. 30, one in Eugene on Oct. 6, then Medford on Oct. 13, and a final debate in Portland on Oct. 20. The two candidates, incumbent Kate Brown, the Democrat, and Bud Pierce, the Republican, also are talking about adding two more meetings to the list.
It no doubt makes sense to hold the debates in population centers, but without a special effort by debate sponsors, those meetings will be readily available to fewer than a quarter of the state’s residents. They should be broadcast live where possible and available later on the internet.
That’s the best way to make sure that Oregonians can see for themselves what both Brown and Pierce have to offer.