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Southwest Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) and Democratic challenger Carolyn Long will face off at a forum in Woodland next month, but the Long campaign is calling for an opportunity for more vigorous debate.

The Woodland Chamber of Commerce will host Herrera Beutler and Long at noon Sept. 18 at the Oak Tree Restaurant, 1020 Atlantic Ave., Woodland.

The candidates will also participate in a forum hosted by Clark Vancouver Television, which will be recorded and then available on CVTV.org, according to a press release.

However, the Long campaign said Monday that the format of many forums often don’t allow candidates or moderators the chance to fact-check, challenge positions or pose follow-up questions.

In addition to the upcoming forums, the Carolyn Long campaign said it wanted to schedule debates in every county sponsored by local media with an active moderator and the chance for the candidates to respond to each other.

The Daily News and the Vancouver Columbian are discussing hosting a joint debate between the two candidates, which Long’s campaign has agreed to. Herrera Beutler’s campaign was non-committal when first presented with the idea on Monday.

“Our campaign has received several requests for debates from media outlets, community groups, and online organizations, and we’ve worked to accept as many as we could given the U.S. House calendar that has members working in D.C. well into October,” the Herrera Beutler campaign said in a statement. “Fitting in additional debates in the remaining time will be a challenge, but we’re confident the organizers of the all the debates and forums announced today will allow for spirited and informative back-and-forths between the candidates.”

Herrera Beutler and Long will also participate in a forum at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 17 at 228 E Darland Dr., Goldendale, Wash.

The campaign for the 3rd Congressional District is shaping up as a closely contested race. Democrats are targeting Herrera Beutler, who is seeking her fifth two-year term. Herrera Beutler outpolled Long, a political newcomer, in the Aug. 7 primary, taking 42 percent of the vote to Long’s 35 percent.

But Long narrowly beat her in Clark County, which has by far the biggest electorate in the district. And Democrats captured 49 percent of 164,000 votes cast.

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