Miami-Dade County

Carlos Gimenez agrees to three debates in Miami-Dade mayoral race

Mayor Carlos Gimenez, left, and Raquel Regalado, far right, in the only debate the incumbent accepted during the mayoral primary. It was hosted by Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg on Channel 10’s "This Week in South Florida."
Mayor Carlos Gimenez, left, and Raquel Regalado, far right, in the only debate the incumbent accepted during the mayoral primary. It was hosted by Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg on Channel 10’s "This Week in South Florida." mocner@miamiherald.com

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.

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