The Indiana Debate Commission announced Thursday that gubernatorial candidates Rupert Boneham, John Gregg and Mike Pence have agreed to three televised debates ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
“They all seemed to be on board and willing to work with us,” said Max Jones, president of the non-partisan commission and editor of the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute.
The dates of the autumn debates have yet to be determined.
The commission will take applications from venues interested in being considered as debate sites. In 2008, commission-sponsored gubernatorial debates were in Merrillville, Jasper and Bloomington.
Venue requirements and application forms are available at the commission’s website at indianadebatecommission.com. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. July 27.
“We’re already getting some in,” Jones said. “In 2008, we had a lot of interest.”
Many venue requirements relate to access for TV production and transmission equipment. Private rooms for the candidates, their advisers and makeup artists must be available, too.
Pence, a 10-year congressman representing Indiana’s 6th District, is the Republican candidate for governor. Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker, is the Democratic candidate. The Libertarian Party nominated Boneham, best known as a contestant on the reality TV show “Survivor.”
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is prohibited by state law from seeking a third consecutive term.
Jones said the commission will be issuing debate invitations to U.S. Senate candidates in coming weeks. The candidates are Democrat Joe Donnelly, a six-year congressman representing Indiana’s 2nd District; Republican Richard Mourdock, who is in his second term as state treasurer; and Libertarian Andrew Horning, who has run for governor, Congress and mayor of Indianapolis since 1999.
Mourdock and six-term Sen. Richard Lugar took part in a commission-sponsored debate April 11 in Indianapolis. Mourdock beat Lugar in the Republican primary.