Unlike presidential debates that are watched by millions, local political debates are rarely televised, yet they offer some of the only chances for voters to hear city and county candidates who will have direct say over so much of their lives.

This week we talk about those debates.

Local debates happen more than you’d think. Podcast co-host Sara Libby, for instance, moderated a city attorney debate last Monday between Mara Elliott and Robert Hickey. Then Hickey and Elliott met again two days later for another candidate forum in City Heights.

As a result, there’s a debate circuit that forms, as our colleague and frequent debate host Andrew Keatts explains. Opposing candidates who see each other night after night become familiar with each other’s talking points and maintain collegial bonds.

Unless they don’t: Keatts talks about one of the wilder local debates he’s hosted, our Politifest debate over a ballot measure that will change city election law.

We also talk about the U.S. Senate “dabate” between state Attorney General Kamela Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and share other observations about the history of debating in San Diego.

Favorite Things

Andy’s favorite thing is the new HBO series “Westworld.”

My favorite thing is normal people who far outnumber reporters even though reporters often end up fetishizing working-class Americans, like Ken Bone, the accidental star of the recent presidential debate.

Sara’s is Sutter Brown, California’s first dog, as well as a touching Sacramento Bee editorial on mortality and our pets.

Subscribe to San Diego Decides on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream it here.

Ry Rivard

Ry Rivard was formerly a reporter for Voice of San Diego. He wrote about water and power.

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