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Muriel Bowser throttled Mayor Vince Gray in the Democratic primary. Along the way, she managed to pick up at least one trick from her former foe: avoiding as many debates as possible.

After refusing to debate rivals David Catania and Carol Schwartz until weeks after the mayoral ballot was set, Bowser followed up this afternoon with a campaign press release that limits the number of debates she’ll participate in. Despite going to countless debates and forums during the Democratic primary, Bowser now says she’ll only commit to going to four “conveniently located or widely broadcasted” events before the general election. (A Washington City Paper-sponsored debate at the Black Cat on Oct. 8 is not on her list.)

“People can see right through her shenanigans to avoid debates,” says Catania campaign manager Ben Young.

Bowser spokesman Joaquin McPeek declined to comment on the release, while Schwartz didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.

If you’re looking to catch Bowser at one of her appearances, the campaign-approved debates and forums are:

  • Sept. 18, the American University Forum at American University’s Abramson Hall. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Oct. 2, the WAMU 88.5 Debate. NPR Headquarters. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Oct. 15, the NBC 4/Washington Post Debate. Streamed online. 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Oc. 16, the Ward 8 Collaborative Forum. Anacostia High School. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Bowser’s press release includes a jab at Catania, whose own campaign poll (obtained in part by LL) puts him within three percentage points of her. The release notes that Bowser “led the field in every publicly available poll on the general election.”

Left unmentioned in the release: that the last publicly available poll was taken nearly six months ago.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery