Jack Hatch, the Democratic candidate for governor, says it’s important for his running mate and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, who is Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s running mate, to have a public debate before the November election.

“The lieutenant governor’s office is very obviously important,” Hatch said this morning. “That person has to succeed the governor if there is any reason for him not to carry out the functions of his office and I value the lieutenant governor, apparently, a lot more than Governor Branstad does.”

Last month, Branstad’s campaign said Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds would not debate Monica Vernon, the person Hatch chose as his running mate and who was confirmed as the Iowa Democratic Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor during the party’s state convention June 21st. In 1990, Iowa’s governor and lieutenant governor began running together in the same way the president and vice president do. Hatch saod it’s important that Iowans be able to evaluate the person who’d be a heart-beat away from the governor’s office.

“We’re elected together,” Hatch said. “This is an opportunity for Iowans to see what the team of the office of governor and lieutenant governor can do for the state.”

In June, a spokesman for the Branstad campaign said this is a campaign “between Terry Branstad and Jack Hatch and that is whom voters expect to see in a debate.” Branstad has agreed to three debates, one at the Iowa State Fair on August 14, followed by a debate in Burlington on September 20 and one on October 14 in Sioux City. Hatch has been pressing for more debates, in places like Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities.