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Congressional candidates Heck and Bilbray to debate

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and his Democratic opponent Erin Bilbray have agreed to debate Oct. 24 on “Ralston Reports,” their campaigns said Tuesday.

Bilbray, as the underdog in the 3rd Congressional District race, has challenged Heck to debate at least four times before the Nov. 4 general election. Heck has said he’ll debate her, but has not committed to a specific number of face-offs.

Heck was first to agree to the proposed Oct. 24 debate on Jon Ralston’s program, which airs at 6:30 p.m. on KSNV-Channel 3. Bilbray initially rejected the date, which falls one week into the two-week early voting period — after many Nevadans will have already cast ballots.

Bilbray campaign manager Erica Prosser said Tuesday the Democrat agreed to the debate because Heck should face the voters on issues such as immigration reform, women’s pay equality and access to insurance-covered birth control. Bilbray’s campaign is skeptical that Heck will agree to more than one debate.

“Is he really going to be given a pass on only accepting the one late debate and only on Ralston’s show?” asked Prosser. “Erin has agreed to a number of debates and forums throughout the district. … We have also proposed additional meetings, town halls, and debates and have offered to be accommodating with Erin’s schedule to make times work when Congressman Heck is actually in Nevada and not Washington.”

Ryan Erwin, a Heck campaign adviser, said the congressman is considering other debates.

“If additional legitimate debate invitations arrive we will consider them,” Erwin said.

Contact report Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj

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