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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Candidate Debates: Here's What We Know

Will the Montana House and Senate candidates debate? Here's what we know.

MontanaPBS, (MTPR's broadcast partner) originally planned to televise a debate between U.S. House Candidates John Lewis and Ryan Zinke on September 29 from Billings. The debate was organized by the Billings Gazette, MontanaPBS and Yellowstone Public Radio.

Both candidates initially agreed to the debate, but Zinke pulled out within hours of agreeing, citing a schedule conflict. After Zinke withdrew, the Billings Gazette decided to replace the debate with an hour-long panel discussion with Democrat John Lewis. MontanaPBS will not televise the panel discussion.

Debate plans are still in the works. Aaron Pruitt, Associate General Manager of MontanaPBS said, "We still hope to have both a house and senate debate. We're trying to make both of those debates happen."

The AP reported that the major-party candidates for the house and senate races agreed to participate in a Montana Television Network debate in Bozeman on October 4. But in the same article, Daines spokesman Brock Lowrance is quoted saying "We’re working on the schedule; nothing’s been finalized. There seems to be a lot of confusion."

Josh Burnham is MTPR's digital editor. He works on the news team and as a content strategist managing the station's website, podcasts, email newsletters and social media.
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