Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell will meet for a third and final televised debate Sunday morning, providing Iowans one more chance to get a side-by-side look at the top two candidates before the Nov. 6 election.
Their debate, hosted by KCRG-TV9, KWQC-TV6 and the Quad-City Times, will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. from the KWQC studio in Davenport. There will not be an audience for the debate.
The head-to-head matchup comes as the candidates are locked in a highly competitive race for the state’s chief executive post. Earlier debates have focused on the candidates’ differing positions on health care management, the economy, tax structure and education spending.
During the previous two debates, both candidates gave new life to negative campaign advertisements that have been aired repeatedly.
Hubbell has mostly stuck to criticizing Reynolds over the state’s privately managed Medicaid system, which he frequently refers to as a “disaster.”
Reynolds, meanwhile, has gone after Hubbell for publicly releasing only one year of incomplete tax returns, questioning what the wealthy retired business executive “has to hide.”
They also have argued over abortion policy, medical marijuana regulations and what role the governor should play amid an ongoing trade war with China, which a University of Iowa report estimates could cost the state as much as $2 billion in lost economic activity.
Reynolds, who previously served as Iowa’s lieutenant governor, is seeking election to the top executive post for the first time. She was appointed to the position last May after former Gov. Terry Branstad was named U.S. ambassador to China.
Hubbell, a former CEO of the Younkers retail chain and member of a prominent Iowa family, has never held elected office.
With the election less than three weeks away, the most recent polls predict a tight race.
Last month, a survey conducted by Selzer & Company for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom had Hubbell leading Reynolds by 2 percentage points, a figure that fell within the poll’s margin of error. Libertarian candidate Jake Porter came in at 7 percent.
Porter, the Libertarian, has not been invited to any of the three televised debates.
• What: Third gubernatorial debate between Democrat Fred Hubbell and Republican Kim Reynolds
• When: 8 a.m. Sunday
• TV: 8 a.m. Sunday on KCRG 9.2; rebroadcast at 3 p.m. Sunday on KCRG-TV9.
• Livestream: KCRG.com