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Brown agrees to Fresno debate, calls for L.A. face-off with Whitman

September 8, 2010 | 12:59 pm

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday to a third debate with Republican rival Meg Whitman. The meeting will take place on Oct. 2 at Cal State-Fresno.

In addition to the Central Valley face-off, the nominees are scheduled to debate on Sept. 28 at UC Davis near Sacramento and on Oct. 12 at Dominican University in San Rafael.

Brown, who called for 10 debates earlier this year, challenged Whitman to commit to a debate in Southern California.

"I have always believed the voters should hear from the candidates directly, which is why I asked for 10 debates at the start of the campaign," Brown said in a written statement. "I'm looking forward to debating in Fresno, Sacramento and San Rafael, and I call on my opponent to stop ignoring Los Angeles, and give voters in that important region a chance to see and participate in a debate as well."

Whitman had been pressing Brown for weeks to accept the Central Valley debate, which will be broadcast statewide in Spanish and which is being sponsored by the Fresno Bee, Univision, the Fresno-Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cal State-Fresno and the city of Fresno.

A campaign spokeswoman demurred when asked about a possible Los Angeles meeting and noted that the three debates the pair have agreed to will be televised across the state.

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles