(WASHINGTON) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom — ideological rivals in two of the country’s biggest states — will debate each other on Fox News on Nov. 30 in Georgia, the network announced on Monday.
A news release from Fox News describes the 90-minute event as a “red vs. blue state debate,” which will be moderated by Sean Hannity.
The showdown further underscores the rising profiles of both men. DeSantis, who easily won reelection last year, is campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Newsom, a Democrat, likewise cruised to a second term last year and has swatted away chatter that he could be considering a White House bid of his own.
A debate between the governors has been in the works for roughly two months, according to both of their public comments over that time. Still, they have sometimes appeared at odds over the particulars.
Fox News’s announcement on Monday did not include specifics on the debate format or topics, and a network spokesperson said that “more details will be forthcoming closer to the date.”
“I’m looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American,” Hannity said in a statement.
DeSantis and Newsom previously agreed to debate each other earlier this summer.
Newsom suggested no audience, while DeSantis suggested having a live audience and tickets distributed evenly between the two sides.
Instead of opening remarks by each governor, DeSantis proposed providing a video lasting no longer than 120 seconds. Newsom’s team offered that each candidate would give opening remarks no longer than four minutes.
Both men have shown their eagerness to debate the other, with DeSantis telling a crowd on Sunday night in Coronado, California, that the governors were “still waiting on a date.”
Earlier this month, Newsom told NBC News that there was no update on the status of the debate: “Figuring out the time and date, and there was a venue issue. … I think we’re getting closer.”
Andrew Romeo, a DeSantis spokesperson, told ABC News in a statement after the announcement on Monday that comparing California and Florida “demonstrates that Ron DeSantis is right: decline is merely a choice. Ron DeSantis rejects that choice and, as president, will reverse America’s decline.”
Romeo went on to say that “we look forward to putting Ron DeSantis’ record of success up against” Newsom’s track record.
Newsom spokesperson Nathan Click said on Monday, in a statement, “We’ve agreed to the debate — provided there is no cheering section, no hype videos or any of the other crutches DeSantis requested. We want a real debate — not a circus.”
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