WCTV to air debates for Florida governor and U.S. Senate races in October 2022

Election day is Nov. 8, 2022.
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 2:11 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - WCTV will broadcast debates leading up to Florida’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate elections in Oct. 2022.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is running for reelection against several Democratic challengers, headlined by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former governor Charlie Crist. Sen. Marco Rubio is the other Republican incumbent running for reelection, while a crowded field led by Rep. Val Demings is vying for the Democratic nomination.

Both DeSantis and Rubio are expected to win renomination when primary elections come around on Aug. 23, 2022.

Election day is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022.

The organizers say the debates are expected to happen in mid-Oct. 2022 on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth. They are planned for live broadcasts on a Tuesday night and a Thursday night in the same week, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Ten network affiliate TV stations, including WCTV, are already committed as broadcast partners.

The following stations will broadcast the debates:

  • West Palm Beach -- WPBF (ABC)
  • Gainesville -- WCJB (ABC)
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale -- WPLG (ABC)
  • Tallahassee -- WCTV (CBS)
  • Orlando -- WESH (NBC)
  • Pensacola -- WEAR (ABC)
  • Jacksonville -- WJXX (ABC)
  • Panama City -- WMBB (ABC)
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg -- WFLA (NBC)
  • Fort Myers -- WBBH (NBC)

The debate organizers anticipate it will be simulcast on public radio, participating TV stations’ websites and on daily newspaper websites. Additionally, a national rebroadcast is expected on C-SPAN once each debate has finished airing live, the release says.

Alongi Media, a company established by former NBC News and PBS executive producers, will produce both debates, the release says.

The anchoring partners for the debate include The James Madison Institute, AARP, the LeRoy Collins Institute and the Florida Press Association.

James Madison Institute CEO Dr. J. Robert McClure says the debates will inform viewers about state leaders’ platforms.

“Meaningfully, this ‘Before You Vote’ series will help voters learn more about the candidates and where they stand on the issues that matter most to millions of Floridians,” he said. “The cumulative audience for these vital forums is understandably expected to be tremendous.”

Florida Press Association CEO Jim Fogler says voters need straight news reporting during the 2022 election cycle in order to make informed choices at the ballot box.

“We expect massive media coverage of these 2022 races and debates for Governor and U.S. Senate – and that helps an informed electorate to make their best and most thoughtful decisions,” he said. “We’re proud to be a part of this diverse nonpartisan team committed to producing the highest quality debates.”

The release says more information regarding the “Decision 2022: Before You Vote” project, including the criteria for major candidates’ participation in the debates, will be unveiled in early 2022.

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