Mayoral candidate Steve Francis has been trying to hit Mayor Jerry Sanders for not doing enough debates. But, after originally saying he’d only do a couple, the Sanders camp has now agreed to as many as eight more debates. That’s in addition to the one held last week.

Here’s the latest list of all the upcoming debates that Sanders has agreed to:

  • April 20: Earth Day debate at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park from noon until 1:00 p.m. The moderator will be former planning commissioner Carolyn Chase, and questions will be taken from the audience.
  • April 30: San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association debate at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • May 2: An individual conversation with district residents at the Tubman-Chavez Center hosted by the United African American Ministerial Action Council and moderated by Reverend Robert C. Ard. All I know for the moment is that Francis will be on between 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sanders from 7:30 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. I’ll post more information when I know it about the other candidates.
  • May 9: La Jolla High School debate for the communities of La Jolla, University City, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Carmel Valley and Clairemont. The debate, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will be moderated by former FBI agent and one-time school board candidate Clyde Fuller.
  • May 13: The City of San Diego Retired Employees Association debate at the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park and open to the public. I’ll be moderating the debate, and the candidates will take questions from the audience. It will be very similar to the format used in this week’s city attorney debate, which I think allowed for some lengthy, thoughtful debate.

The only caveat: The mayor will be arriving late because he has a proclamation to present at the City Council that morning. The debate at the moment is scheduled to go from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., and Sanders is slated to arrive at 10:45 a.m.

  • May 22: The Mission Valley Church of the Nazarene will host the debate for the communities of Serra Mesa, Tierrasanta, Navajo, Normal Heights, Kensington/Talmadge, SDSU, Rolando, University Heights. It will also be played live on KUSI. Paul Bloom will moderate and questions will come from the KUSI journalists and also be solicited through the station’s website.
  • May 23: The Catfish Club, City Club, Chicano Federation and Asian Business Association debate at the San Diego Hall of Champions from noon to 2:00 p.m.

Questions will be taken from the audience; Herman Collins will moderate

  • June 1: NBC 7/39’s Gene Cubbison will host a live, one-hour debate on his weekly show “Politically Speaking.”

Another interesting tidbit: Sanders is only doing debates in which all five candidates have been invited. It looks like a move to avoid debating Francis one-on-one, but his camp says it’s in the name of fairness to the other campaigns.


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