February 13, 2016

First Branstad-Hatch debate set for Thursday

The first debate between Republican Governor Terry Branstad and Jack Hatch, the Democratic challenger, is scheduled for this Thursday, at the Iowa State Fair. Hatch says he’s probably “not doing enough” debate prep since he’ll be facing someone who’s been involved in 18 previous debates.

“I’ve never had a debate and this is going to be a new experience for me,” Hatch says.

The debate will be staged inside the ring where the state fair’s champion livestock are auctioned off. The two candidates will sit next to one another.

“I sat across from Terry Branstad once and he did all the talking, so this will be different,” Hatch says.

Branstad’s first gubernatorial debate was held at the Iowa Fair in 1982.

“I’m going to talk about Iowa, why I love Iowa, why I want to continue to represent Iowa and that we’re not done yet,” Branstad told reporters Monday. “We’ve got a lot more to do. I think we accomplished a lot..and I think people that know me know I go to every county every year. I only have one speed: overdrive.”

The debate will start at 4 p.m. Thursday and air live on Iowa Public Television’s WORLD channel and be livestreamed on IPTV’s website. The debate will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on IPTV’s main channel.

Hatch’s father died on Sunday. Funeral arrangements are still pending, as the family plans to bury Frank Hatch at Arlington National Cemetery. Frank Hatch was 95. He served in the Army in World War II and retired from the Army Reserve in 1954.

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