SC Statehouse / S.C. Governor's Office
South Carolina voters will finally get a glimpse of their governor and his Democratic challenger going head-to-head on the issues in two televised debates scheduled for Oct. 17 and Oct. 25.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and Democratic Rep. James Smith will take the stage at Francis Marion University in Florence on Wed. Oct. 17 and at Greenville Technical College in Greenville on Thurs. Oct. 25, according to the Post & Courier
Both debates will start at 7 p.m. and will air on SCETV and S.C. Public Radio.
They will be co-hosted by SCETV and the Post & Courier
and moderated by P&C
political reporter Andy Shain and Charles Bierbauer, a former CNN host and current dean of the USC College of Information and Communications.
The debates are the only times S.C. voters will get to see both candidates squaring off ahead of the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election.
The deadline to register to vote has now been extended until Wed. Oct. 17, the date of the first debate, due to state office closures caused by Hurricane Florence.
McMaster rose to the governorship in January 2017 after President Donald Trump appointed former Gov. Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump has continuously backed McMaster in the race.
Smith is trying to become the state's first Democratic governor since Jim Hodges, who lost his re-election bid to Mark Sanford in 2002. This is both candidates' first general election bids to be elected governor. McMaster unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination in 2010, finishing third in the party primary.
Lieutenant governor candidates Pamela Evette, a business owner from Travelers Rest running with McMaster, and Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, a state lawmaker from Lancaster who joined Smith's ticket in May
, will debate at the SCETV studios in Columbia on Mon. Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.