For the first time in the 36th Congressional Race, Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz announced today that he would be willing to debate Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack.
Ruiz, an emergency room physician from Palm Desert, made the revelation in a press release that said he had accepted a televised debate offer from KESQ, KPSP Local 2 and the Spanish language station KVER.
“He believes strongly that every candidate has an obligation to a full and vigorous debate,” Ruiz campaign manager Kyle Layman said in the statement today.
A number of local media outlets — including The Desert Sun — have been in contact with both candidates about organizing a debate.
Bono Mack’s political director did not immediately respond to Ruiz’s challenge. But in earlier conversations with The Desert Sun, Bono Mack’s team has indicated that she is willing to debate Ruiz before Election Day.
Bono Mack’s last televised debate was in 2010, when she faced off against Democratic Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet.
That hour-long event, co-hosted by The Desert Sun and KPSP Local 2, marked the first time since 2002 that Bono Mack had gone head-to-head with her opponent.