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February 21, 2018

Alex Trebek set to moderate Pennsylvania's gubernatorial debate

'Jeopardy!' host may press Gov. Tom Wolf and his eventual Republican challenger on the issues affecting the state

Politics Media
Alex Trebek 'Jeopardy!'/Website

Alex Trebek.

I'll take "Pennsylvania's state budget" for $600, Alex.

The potential Oct. 1 debate between incumbent Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his eventual Republican challenger won't have the candidates answering questions like contestants on "Jeopardy!" However, they may be pressed on the issues by the host of the long-running game show.

The scheduled debate in advance of Pennsylvania's 2018 gubernatorial election, hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, will have Alex Trebek as its moderator.

"With a dynamic, entertaining format, the debate focuses on an array of topics that are critical to Pennsylvania businesses," the business chamber wrote on the page for the event.

The chamber noted Wolf has been invited, but not confirmed for the debate. A spokesman for Wolf's re-election campaign said they would decide which debates to participate in once a Republican nominee is chosen.

"Once the primary campaign is over and there is a Republican nominee, we look forward to sitting down and discussing what debates we will jointly participate in and how those debates are organized," said Jeffrey Sheridan. "It is premature at this time, before we even have a Republican opponent, to talk about debates."

According to a 2013 post from The Hill, Trebek, who has described himself as a "social liberal and a fiscal conservative," has said he would "love" to moderate a presidential debate:

“Unlike some of the other moderators — I’m not going to disparage them — but I have a different approach,” he said. “I would not let the politicians get away with standard responses. I would try to pin them down, even though I might look bad doing it.”

For now, he'll have to stick with Pennsylvania's contest for governor. There currently are three candidates lining up for the GOP nomination to challenge Wolf’s re-election bid: state Sen. Scott Wagner, businessman Paul Mango and attorney Laura Ellsworth. State House Speaker Mike Turzai dropped out earlier this month when Wagner won the endorsement of the Republican Party Committee.

This article has been updated to clarify that Gov. Tom Wolf has not confirmed he will be participating in this specific debate.