Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Wednesday agreed to debate challenger Raquel Regalado three times before Election Day, twice in English and once in Spanish. He publicly accepted the media invitations a week after sparking criticism for declining to participate in a Sept. 28 debate hosted by the League of Women Voters.
In a press release, Gimenez said he would appear with Regalado on CBS 4’s “Facing South Florida” with Jim Defede on Sunday, Oct. 9; Univision 23’s Al Punto Florida with Ambrosio Hernandez on Sunday, Oct. 16; and on the WMBM radio station Thursday, Oct. 20 in an event hosted by the Black Owned Media Alliance, a group of publications that includes the Miami Times.
There was no immediate response from Regalado, but the school board member has been publicly pressing for joint appearances with the five-year incumbent, who finished 16 points ahead of her in the seven-candidate mayoral primary.
Assuming Regalado agrees, Gimenez’s announcement sets up three high-profile events in the contest to run Florida’s largest county. Gimenez declined all debate invitations but one during the primary, a contest he had expected to win outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote. He took 48 percent, and Regalado won 32 percent.