By Associated Press - Monday, June 4, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on decision to limit Democratic participation in gubernatorial debate (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Pollster Charles Franklin says the Marquette University Law School does not support using its poll to determine who can participate in a Democratic gubernatorial primary debate.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association said Monday it would only allow the four highest-ranking candidates in the Marquette poll closest to the July 27 debate to participate.

That led to calls from candidates and the Wisconsin Democratic Party to reconsider. But the WBA says it can’t have a lively exchange of ideas with more than four candidates.

Franklin says Marquette had no role in decided to its poll for the debate and “We think the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association should not use our poll in this way.”

He says “All polls have a margin of error, making small percentage differences between candidates in a crowded field especially uncertain.”


1:40 p.m.

A debate with at least nine of the 10 Democratic candidates running for governor is in the works for two weeks before a different debate that’s being limited to just four candidates. is organizing the July 12 debate with the larger field of candidates. On Monday, with Wisconsin Broadcasters Association announced it was staging a debate on July 27 with just four candidates.

That led to candidates and others calling for more to be included. president Jeff Mayers says invitations for the earlier July 12 debate were sent in April to the top nine Democratic candidates and they all have accepted. Newcomer Josh Pade was not initially invited but may be added.

Other partners in the July 12 debate include the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today Network-Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Radio. Mayers says a television sponsor is in the works.


12:05 p.m.

The decision to limit participation in a Democratic gubernatorial debate is drawing sharp criticism and calls for candidates to boycott the July event.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association said Monday it would only allow four of the 10 candidates to participate in its July 27 debate. They would be the top four based on the most recent Marquette University Law School poll. They also must have raised at least $250,000.

Candidate Mike McCabe calls it an example of a “rigged and corrupt” political system.

Scot Ross, the leader of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, is urging all 10 Democrats to boycott the event.

And Wisconsin Democratic Party spokeswoman Melanie Conklin says it’s not a fair way to go and is asking the WBA to reconsider.


10:37 a.m.

Only four of the 10 Democrats running for governor in Wisconsin will be allowed to participate in a July debate hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

The WBA said Monday that the top four will be determined by the Marquette University Law School poll released closest to the July 27 debate in Madison. Also, any candidate who has not raised at least $250,000 by then will not be considered.

If there is a tie in the poll, whoever has raised the most money will be selected.

The WBA is also hosting a July 21 debate, using the same rules, for the Senate Republican primary that pits state Sen. Leah Vukmir against Kevin Nicholson and three lesser-known candidates.

The primary is Aug. 14.

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