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Posted May 9, 2012, 11:03 am
Republican Jesse Kelly and Democrat Ron Barber will face off in two events as voters decide who will fill the congressional seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords.
A candidate forum featuring the two will air May 16 at 6 p.m. on KUAT Channel 6. That program will be pre-taped, and the forum will not be open to the public.
A live debate, sponsored by the Arizona Daily Star, will take place on May 23 at the Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. That event, scheduled for 7 p.m., will be public. The JCC Ballroom seats about 500 people.
An attempt to organize a public debate by students at Vail Academy and High School was nixed by Barber's campaign, which declined an invitation. Students at the school previously held debates featuring GOP primary candidates. Conservative radio host Jon Justice moderated one, a 2010 primary debate.
Last week, Barber's campaign also demurred on participating in a debate to be organized by TucsonSentinel.com. That public event would have been livestreamed on the Internet, as well as broadcast on radio and TV. After initially agreeing to the debate, Kelly's campaign did not respond to scheduling questions.
Barber's campaign did not explain why the debates were declined.
Early voting in the special election begins May 17. Election day is June 12.