It now appears there won't be a public debate in Flagstaff or on television between the candidates seeking the U.S. House seat for northern Arizona on Nov. 2.

Republican nominee and Flagstaff dentist Paul Gosar is now saying he won't attend a televised debate with incumbent Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick because it would take too much time to drive to Phoenix and back.

"The schedule is getting so full," said Gosar's campaign spokesman, J.P. Twist. "... It's basically six hours wasted of driving when we're talking a little over one week out from the election."

Kirkpatrick and Gosar had both agreed to a public, televised debate Thursday on Eight Arizona PBS, said Horizon Executive Producer David Majure.

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It had been scheduled as of Sept. 22.

Kirkpatrick challenged Gosar to a series of debates directly after his primary win. He has not agreed to them, though Kirkpatrick did debate Gosar at a Tea Party event earlier this month in Prescott.

-- Sun staff report

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