Pencil in Oct. 15 for Charlie Crist-Rick Scott debate in Davie

Charlie Crist, left, and Rick Scott

The organizations that sponsor debates among major candidates in Florida elections have set Oct. 15 as the date for the showdown in the governor’s race.

The statewide televised debate will be produced by WFOR-Ch. 4, and broadcast on that station in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. The 10 other stations slated to carry the debate include WPBF-Ch. 25 in the West Palm Beach market.

The hour-long event is scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m.

The sponsoring organizations, Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association, had earlier announced the venue would be Broward College’s Davie campus.


Photos: Not at Comic-Con at TATE'S Comics

For years, the debates had been held at the Nova Southeastern University campus in Davie; but Broward College President David Armstrong is chairman of Leadership Florida and this year’s debate was moved to his school.

“We’re proud to produce this important dialogue between the top contenders vying to be Florida’s next governor,” Armstrong said in a written statement. “This debate will help millions of voters learn more about who these candidates are and where they stand on the issues that affect Floridians the most.”

Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association said they’ve sent debates to “leading major party contenders,” Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic candidate Charlie Crist – and noted that both have “previously participated in debates produced by the partnership of Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association.”

Invitations also went to Democratic candidate Nan Rich, who trails Crist in fundraising and money, and to Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie.  The invitation doesn’t mean Wyllie will get on stage. The sponsors’ announcement said that “candidates have been advised that participation in the debate will be determined by meeting criteria that will be announced at a later date.”

Debate criteria typically include requirements that candidates hit a certain level in polls, which generally means that third-party and independent candidates are excluded.