Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza would like to see his two primary opponents -- House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton -- at least five times in the next three months.
"What I propose is a series of five debates -- one in the Twin Cities, northeastern, northwestern, southeastern and southeastern Minnesota," he said in a Tuesday letter to Kelliher and Dayton.
The three will face off in an August 10 primary.
Here's the letter.
Dear Sen. Dayton and Rep. Anderson Kelliher:
In August, primary voters will choose which of us they believe should represent the DFL in the November general election. It’s a critical decision for the future of our state.
While each of us is already busy making our case to the voting public individually, voters also should have the opportunity to consider our candidacies side by side. In that spirit, I am proposing a series of debates over the next three months. My campaign already has contacted the League of Women Voters of Minnesota to begin a dialogue about this.
What I propose is a series of five debates – one each in the Twin Cities, northeastern, northwestern, southeastern and southwestern Minnesota. I further propose each event be held at an institution of higher education in the region and bet moderated by a member of the League of Women Voters. Finally, I propose that members of our respective campaign teams negotiate the details of the events but that they reflect League of Women Voters debate guidelines.
I know you agree that this election is tremendously important for the future of our state. I look forward to your response to this invitation and to the opportunity to join you in talking to the DFL voters of Minnesota. Please contact my campaign manager, Dave Colling, at 651xxx-xxx or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the reaction from Dayton campaign manager Dana Anderson:
"Mark Dayton has a proven history of participating in political debates. In 2000, Mark was a part of 16 debates before the primary, and 15 between the primary and general elections. Mark looks forward to having additional opportunities to discuss the issues in front of voters all across the state - just as he did during his tour of all 87 Minnesota counties."
The Dayton campaign released an updated statement. That statement is below:
"Mark Dayton has a proven history of participating in political debates. In 2000, Mark was a part of 16 debates before the primary, and 15 between the primary and general elections. Mark looks forward to having additional opportunities to discuss the issues in front of voters all across the state - just as he did during his tour of all 87 Minnesota counties That includes candidate debates before and after the DFL primary."
Here's the reaction from the Kelliher campaign:
“Margaret earned the DFL endorsement by building a broad coalition of support from Democrats across the state. She has been and will continue to talk to Minnesotans about the future of our state over the course of the campaign. Margaret is determined to make sure there are enough debates for voters to make up their minds as we get closer to Election Day and looks forward to considering every debate offer as they come in.”