Scott Wagner Calls For 67 Debates Across Pennsylvania

Slate Would Include A Town Hall-Style Debate In Each County

2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner this morning called on Governor Wolf to participate in a debate in every county in the commonwealth before Election Day. In order for the candidates to break away from the rehearsed and canned answers that often come with traditional debates, Wagner is urging that he and the Governor discuss the issues in a town hall format, where they will have the opportunity to answer questions directly from the voters.

Speaking about the proposal, Wagner said, “It’s time for Pennsylvanians to have a gubernatorial campaign that focuses on them for a change. They deserve candidates who are not afraid to provide direct and personalized answers on their plans for the future of the commonwealth. I believe that Governor Wolf is failing us, and that it’s important for voters in every county to get a chance to see the differences between us in person so that they can make an informed choice when they head to the polls in November.”

Republican Lieutenant Governor Nominee Jeff Bartos added,  “This may be a foreign concept to Governor Wolf, but Scott and I think a lieutenant governor should have a firm understanding of the administration’s agenda and be able to step in for the governor whenever necessary. Therefore, if Governor Wolf does not have time to attend all 67 debates, I suggest that he allow Mayor Fetterman and I to articulate the views of our respective tickets in front of the people.”

Wagner’s proposal to get the focus of the race back on the issues and the people of Pennsylvania comes after the Wolf campaign has spent the last two weeks launching a slew of negative attack ads against him.

  • In the Republican Primary, however, the Wolf campaign criticized candidates for running negative ads “Rather than focusing on the issues that matter most to Pennsylvanians.” (PennLive, 4/5/18)
Pennsylvania’s editorial boards hold the Wolf campaign’s pre-general election view, and want an issue focused race as well.
  • The Doylestown Intelligencer Editorial Board: “When candidates stoop to name-calling and other negative campaign tactics they cheat voters. What voters need in order to make an educated decision in any election is information about a candidate’s record and his or her agenda for the future. When candidates instead choose to distort their opponent’s record, they deny voters the ability to make a reasoned, fact-based decision.” (Doylestown Intelligencer, 4/8/18)
  • The York Daily Record Editorial Board: “In the end, we hope this will be a race about policies and the future direction of PA, not about mudslinging and personality.” (York Daily Record, 5/16/18)
Tom Wolf said he’d be a different kind of governor. However, he’s running his re-election campaign just like a typical politician. If he really wants to shake up the system, he’ll ditch traditional negative media attacks and come explain to the voters in person why he deserves four more years.