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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 12:59 p.m.

Inslee changes mind, agrees to AWB debate

The Association of Washington Business will have its gubernatorial debate after all.

Two days after Democratic candidate Jay Inslee said he would not take part in an AWB-sponsored debate in June, the former congressman reversed course and said he will participate.

That means he and Republican Rob McKenna will face off in Spokane on June 12.

This morning Inslee phoned Gary Chandler, the group's vice president of government affairs, to confirm his participation, according to Jocelyn McCabe, AWB's vice president of communication.

“We are pleased that Candidate Inslee will participate in our debate and look forward to having a vigorous discussion of the key issues facing Washington state before a live audience,” AWB President Don Brunell said in a prepared statement.

On Monday, Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said that Inslee would skip the event because the sponsors had not negotiated in good faith by confirming the June date before the Democratic candidate agreed to it.

Today, Smith reiterated they still wish the debate would be held closer to the election in November.

“They wanted June 12. We'll do it June 12,” Smith said.

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