governor of massachusetts | charlie baker | jay gonzalez
Gov. Charlie Baker, left (File Photo) and Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez, right (Facebook/Gonzalez).

In less than two weeks, Bay Staters will be able to watch the first of three gubernatorial debates as incumbent Charlie Baker faces Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez in the race for governor of Massachusetts.

The first gubernatorial debate is scheduled for Oct. 9, with WBZ-TV host Jon Keller as moderator.

That gubernatorial debate will be televised at 8 p.m. and could provide a potential turning point for Gonzalez, experts say, as he has been trailing behind in Baker in the polls and suffering from low name recognition.

According to a WBUR poll out Wednesday, 45 percent of responders said they had never heard of Gonzalez. That name recognition persists among his own party, as well, with 37 percent of Democrats saying they hadn’t heard of Gonzalez either.


Baker has served as governor of Massachusetts since 2015, earning the title of “most popular governor” in the country more than once since assuming office. Voters seem inclined to give him four more years in the role, with 68 percent of poll respondents saying they’d vote for Baker if the election were held today, per the WBUR poll, compared to 24 percent for Gonzalez.

governor of massachusetts | gubernatorial debate | charlie baker | jay gonzalez

3 debates in race for governor of Massachusetts

The Oct. 9 gubernatorial debate marks the first in a series of three televised debates ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.

The candidates vying for governor of Massachusetts will also debate on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. WGBH news will host that hour-long debate and Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will moderate.

The final gubernatorial debate be hosted by a consortium that includes the Boston Globe, WBUR, WCVB, UMass, and the ABC and CBS affiliates in Springfield on Nov. 1, just five days before voters go to the polls for the November 2018 Massachusetts general election. Moderators for the last debate have not yet been disclosed.

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