Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Our HD signals for BBC and Classical KUER are down. We are working to restore them.
Dig deep into Utah's local elections with KUER News. Check out KUER's voter information page for the how, when and where on voting in Utah, learn about the candidates in Utah's 6 major statewide races and follow this page for a steady stream of election coverage from KUER News. 00000174-456e-d547-ad77-67ef316e0000 Check out all of KUER's Statewide Election Profiles.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jonathan Johnson To Debate Jim Dabakis

Jonathan Johnson Campaign
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jonathan Johnson

Democratic state Senator Jim Dabakis will debate Republican gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson Tuesday afternoon, even though Dabakis has no plans to run for governor.

The debate between Jim Dabakis and Jonathan Johnson will be the first of four debates between the two. Johnson says he’s been unsuccessfully asking Governor Gary Herbert to debate for months.

“I think I have a pretty good sense of what issues Utahns care about and I want to let them know where I stand on those issues," Johnson says. "And if the governor won’t sit down or stand up with me for a debate I welcome the chance to be in a discussion with Sen. Dabakis.”

Johnson says he thinks it’s important to debate his intraparty competition now, because even though the general election is far away, the neighborhood caucus meetings are scheduled for March.

Meanwhile, the Utah Democratic Party doesn’t even have any announced candidates. And while Dabakis says he’s not planning on running for the spot, he says he’ll take any opportunity he can to talk about democratic principles.

“I don’t care about the internal political machinations of the Republican Party," Dabakis says. "To hell with them. My message, my job, is to get the facts out that say Utah Democrats have the solution.”

As for Governor Herbert, a spokesman for his campaign says that he is currently focused on doing his job as Governor, and will debate when it is the appropriate time. And that won’t be until at least the beginning of 2016. 

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.