Braley, Ernst agree to 3 debates this fall, but not KWWL - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Braley, Ernst agree to 3 debates this fall, but not KWWL

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Braley and Ernst Braley and Ernst

The candidates running for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat have agreed to three debates this fall, but not a KWWL-hosted one.

The campaigns for Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst announced Thursday that the candidates will face off around the state.

On September 28 they will likely appear in Indianola. They'll be in the Quad Cities on October 11 and in Sioux City on October 16.

Braley and Ernst are locked in a tight race for the Senate seat, which is open because longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin is retiring.

The race will play a key role in the battle for control of the chamber.

Braley's office had confirmed a debate with KWWL as well, but after joint discussions with Ernst's campaign, the debate was nixed.

"Naturally, we're disappointed and puzzled that a Senate debate will not be held in Waterloo at the Cattle Congress," said Jim McKernan, vice president/general manager of KWWL. "Our area of eastern Iowa is the state's second-largest television market and is critical to statewide elections.

"The KWWL proposal -- accepted by the Braley campaign -- would have been an opportunity for eastern Iowa to become more acquainted with Joni Ernst," McKernan added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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