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It's possible the two gubernatorial candidates may not appear on the same stage at the same time before election day.

It’s possible the two gubernatorial candidates may not appear on the same stage at the same time before election day. (Los Angeles Times)

Earlier this summer it seemed possible, even likely, that there would be only one debate between California’s two gubernatorial candidates. That’s all that front-runner Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, would agree to.

Now it seems as if even that one debate will not happen, and this time because of John Cox’s demands. The Republican businessman, who is challenging Newsom, wouldn’t agree to participate unless he could dictate the topics of conversation, according to a story by my colleague Melanie Mason. The debate host, CNN, finally canceled the Oct. 1 event — and who can blame the network for pulling out?

What a couple of babies. Cox and Newsom should be happy to meet in any and all forums to engage with each other and show voters the differences between them. As The Times editorial board said in a recent editorial, there’s nothing quite like these unscripted debate forums to offer a glimpse into the real character of a candidate.