PolitiCal

Brown, Kashkari agree to initial debate in governor's race

California gubernatorial candidates Brown, Kashkari agree to debate

Gov. Jerry Brown and his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, have agreed to debate Sept. 4 in Sacramento.

The one-hour debate, sponsored by The Times, KQED public radio, Telemundo and the California Channel, is the only one the Democratic incumbent has accepted.

The match will be a crucial opportunity for Kashkari, who remains largely unknown to many Californians and has struggled to raise enough money to introduce himself through advertising. Kashkari had sought multiple debates, even as many as 10.

Brown's campaign spokesman, Dan Newman, said Monday night: "We look forward to what we hope will be a thoughtful and substantive event, and we are particularly pleased that the diverse and respected group of media hosts will make it available and accessible to virtually every interested Californian."

The 7 p.m. debate will be televised live, aired on radio stations around the state and live-streamed on the Internet. Senior Editor John Myers of KQED will moderate. Other panelists will be Times Editor-at-Large Jim Newton and a journalist from Telemundo, yet to be named.

Kashkari spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said the candidate's team was "glad the governor has accepted his first debate invitation and hopes he'll show the same respect to the other media outlets whose debate proposals he has ignored."

Brown, who was first elected governor 40 years ago, is seeking an historic fourth term. Polls have found him running about 20 points ahead of Kashkari, who is running for office for the first time.

Kashkari is a former assistant U.S. Treasury secretary who has also worked as an investment banker and aerospace engineer.

For political news, follow me at @finneganLAT

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