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Utah Debate Commission selects moderators for 2020 debates

FILE -- Former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright takes notes during a Utah gubernatorial Republican primary debate at the PBS Utah studio at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. Photo: Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Debate Commission has selected its moderators for upcoming debates ahead of the 2020 election.

The six moderators selected by the commission are Doug Wright, Rod Arquette, Pat Jones, David Magleby, Jennifer Napier-Pearce and Doug Wilks.

Each of them will moderate one of the six debates for those running in all four of Utah’s congressional districts as well as the race for governor and attorney general.

Who’s moderating which debates?

1st Congressional District Debate

KNRS’ Rod Arquette will moderate the first debate in Utah’s 2020 schedule between Blake Moore (R) and Darren Parry (D). Both men are vying to replace retiring Congressman Rob Bishop (R).

When: The debate will be held on Thursday, September 24  at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 

Gubernatorial Debate

The semi-retired KSL host Doug Wright will moderate the debate between Lt. Gov Spencer Cox (R) and University of Utah professor Chris Peterson (D). Both seek to replace outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert (R). 

When: The debate will be held on Tuesday, September 29 at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 

4th Congressional District Debate

Deseret News Editor Doug Wilks will moderate the debate for the 4th Congressional Debate between incumbent Ben McAdams (D) and former NFL player Burgess Owens (R).

When: The debate will be held on Monday, October 12 at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 

3rd Congressional District Debate

BYU professor of political science David Magleby will moderate the debate between incumbent Rep. John Curtis (R) and Devin Thorpe (D) in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District debate.

When: The debate will be held on Thursday, October 15 at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 

2nd Congressional District Debate

Co-founder and former president of Dan Jones & Associates Pat Jones will moderate the debate between incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart (R) and Kael Weston (D) in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District debate. 

When: The debate will be held on Monday, October 19 at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 

Attorney General Debate

Jennifer Napier-Pearce, who resigned as executive editor of The Salt Lake Tribune in August, will moderate the last debate scheduled in Utah, between incumbent Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) and Greg Skordas (D).

When: The debate will be held on Wednesday, October 21 at 6 p.m. and will stream live on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 


To see more information about any of the moderators selected for the 2020 Utah debates, you can click here.

Utah will also play host to the only vice presidential debate, between current Vice President Mike Pence (R) and California Senator Kamala Harris (D). The debate will take place for 90 minutes at the University of Utah and will be moderated by USA Today’s Susan Page.

This debate, as well as the debates between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, will be aired on KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM) or KSL 5 TV on-air or online. 


When and where to watch the upcoming Utah political debates