A gubernatorial debate scheduled for next week in Wayne looks like it will be scrapped.
The campaigns of Governor Pete Ricketts and state Senator Bob Krist blame each other.
Communications Director Matthew Trail with Pete Ricketts for governor claims the Republican is on board if specifics can be worked out.
“What we want is for the voters to have a chance to see the candidates together and we’ve been pretty clear about that from the beginning and, unfortunately, the Krist campaign seems to not really want that, because they’re kind of working to tank one of them,” Trail tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WJAG.
Krist, the Democratic challenger, counters the problem isn’t on his end.
“I have just one question: what are you afraid of governor?” Krist asks in his response to WJAG. “What is it that I have so much power that you are afraid of letting people know what your record is and potentially what the differences would be between your administration and my administration?”
Trail says the two sides haven’t agreed on details.
“Who the moderator will be, who all the media sponsors are going to be, the length of responses to questions, the order of opening and closing statements,” according to Trail. “These are very basic and very standard things that candidates would come together and discuss, and they just haven’t responded. They’ve ignored our request.”
Krist claims there have been no negotiations.
“You don’t have to voluntarily walk into a snake pit. They gave us an ultimatum,” Krist says, adding negotiations never got off the ground before the Ricketts campaign cancelled the debate.
The Ricketts campaign claims it was the Krist campaign which called off the debate.
The debate is scheduled for next Friday at Wayne State College. The Wayne Area of Economic Development is sponsoring the debate.
Ricketts and Krist debated on August 30th at the State Fair in Grand Island. It was sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald and KMTV.
Cody Ronnfeldt, WJAG, contributed to this article.