Turns out Tuesday night's debate between Mia Love and Doug Owens won't be the last time the two candidates will appear together in 2014.
Love's campaign manager, Dave Hansen, tells UtahPolicy.com that they will accept an invitation to debate Owens one more time after Tuesday's Utah Debate Commisison event. That final debate will be on KSL's Doug Wright show.
Hansen says they will not accept any other invitations to appear jointly with Owens, including next week's proposed event at the Salt Lake Rotary Club.
This roughly follows the same playbook Hansen used when guiding Orrin Hatch to a primary victory over Dan Liljenquist in 2012. Despite an aggressive effort by Liljenquist's campaign to get Hatch to agree to more debates, the only one took place on KSL radio – conveniently out of the view of television cameras.
Owens' campaign would like to see more debates between their candidate and Love, but that's not going to happen.
"Utah voters deserve to know where candidates really stand on important issues facing our state and nation," said the Owens campaign in a statement sent to UtahPolicy.com. "Debates are the best way to go beyond platitudes and tag lines and have a meaningful discussion."
A recent UtahPolicy.com poll showed Love with a 9-point lead over Owens heading into the final three weeks of the election season. More debates could certainly go a long way towards helping Owens make up that gap before election day.