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Arizona PBS, Arizona Republic to host McCain-Kirkpatrick debate


Arizona PBS and The Arizona Republic are hosting a live televised debate next month between Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. Photo by Alejandra Armstrong, Cronkite News

September 23, 2016

Arizona PBS and The Arizona Republic are hosting a live televised debate next month between Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in what will most likely be the only debate between the two candidates.  

The hourlong debate will air on Arizona PBS at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 10. The candidates will discuss foreign, domestic and regional issues. The moderators will be Ted Simons, host of “Arizona Horizon” on Arizona PBS, and Arizona Republic political reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez.

Questions for the candidates will be chosen by the moderators and editors of sponsoring organizations, as well as suggested by the public through social media, which will be led by Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, and The Arizona Republic.

“We are excited the two candidates turned to two of the state’s most-trusted media outlets to host this important debate,” said Christopher Callahan, Arizona PBS CEO dean and dean of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “We hope this debate will help inform voters across the state on a critically important election.”

Cronkite News will provide post-debate coverage at Cronkite News is the award-winning student-produced news operation at the Cronkite School.

“At The Arizona Republic, our mission is to educate and empower,” said Nicole Carroll, editor of The Arizona Republic/ “We’re proud to help foster thoughtful discussion – at the debate and in our community. And we’re proud to partner with Arizona PBS.”

According to a recent poll released by The Arizona Republic, and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Cronkite News, 48.8 percent of Arizonans described their view of McCain as either “very favorable” or “favorable,” plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Kirkpatrick was at 36 percent in favorability in the same poll.  

The debate will air live on Arizona PBS (channel 8.1) and streamed on, Cronkite News on Facebook and Facebook/azcentral.

McCain, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, is seeking his sixth term as senator. He was first elected to Congress in 1982 from Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2008.

Kirkpatrick currently represents Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which includes much of the state outside of Phoenix and Tucson. She has represented the district since 2013. She also held the same seat from 2009-2011. She previously served as a member in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2005-2007.

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