Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman has agreed to an Oct. 25 televised debate against his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz.
The debate, hosted by Nexstar Media Group, will take place just two weeks before the general election and will be aired on stations throughout Pennsylvania.
Oz, who has been publicly raising questions about Fetterman’s health following a May stroke, has pushed for multiple debates. Fetterman’s campaign has agreed to one.
Previously, Fetterman campaign strategist Rebecca Katz told The Washington Post that they were working on figuring out “what a fair debate would look like” while considering the lingering impacts of the stroke’s impact. “To be absolutely clear, the occasional issues he is having with auditory processing have no bearing on his ability to do the job as senator,” Katz added. “John is healthy and fully capable of showing up and doing the work.”
To accommodate Fetterman’s auditory processing challenges, his campaign requested that he be able to view closed-caption monitors during the debate.
Oz’s campaign, in turn, made three requests. A moderator must tell the audience that Fetterman is using closed captioning; practice sessions do not use the actual debate questions; and the debate be extended from 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
Heated exchanges have occurred between the two campaigns, with Oz’s team pushing for more debates, while Fetterman’s campaign criticizes their opponent for making additional requests regarding stipulations for the Oct. 25 debate.
The exact details of the debate, and whether Oz’s requests will be granted, remain unclear.