Arizona legislative and statewide primary debates begin this week

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Monday, April 18, 2022 - 9:14am
Updated: Monday, April 18, 2022 - 9:15am

With the filing deadline for the 2022 Arizona election now passed and the August primary elections on the horizon, the Citizens Clean Election Commission will begin hosting candidate debates this week.

Gina Roberts, the commission's voter education director, says it may feel early to start debates, but voting begins in less than three months.

“Our very first legislative debate will kick off April 19, and our very first statewide debate will kick off on April 20. And I know that feels really early, but the truth is, we’re already so close into the election season already. Early voting is going to start July 6,” said Roberts.

The commission plans to host virtual debates for all contested legislative and statewide elections. Roberts says topics for each debate will come from voters, who will be allowed to call, text, and email questions for the candidates.

“We want all the questions to come directly from voters. This debate is for voters. They are for voters to connect with candidates and see where they stand on issues that are important to them,” said Roberts.

Roberts says debates will either be live online or on Arizona PBS, and archives of every debate will be available on the commission website and YouTube channel.