Metro

Walsh agrees to challenge Jackson in two mayoral debates

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh leaves the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library after voting in the preliminary election on Tuesday.
Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh leaves the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library after voting in the preliminary election on Tuesday.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Wednesday that he has agreed to participate in two debates with challenger City Councilor Tito Jackson ahead of the Nov. 7 general election.

Walsh, who received 63 percent of the vote in Boston’s preliminary election on Tuesday, has accepted invitations for an Oct. 10 debate hosted by Dan Rea of WBZ Radio and an Oct. 24 debate hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, according to a statement from his campaign.

“I look forward to speaking with as many voters as possible and debating real ideas of how to continue moving our city forward, and building a Boston for all of us,” Walsh said in the statement.

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Jackson said he has received the invitations from WBZ and WGBH, but he is also considering other options from other news organizations and community groups.

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“I look forward to debating the mayor on our vision for Boston,” he said. “We look forward to negotiating the debate dates” with the Walsh campaign.

Walsh appears regularly on Nightside with Dan Rea, and Braude and Eagan’s show.

Asked about the selection of venues and hosts seemingly friendly to Walsh, a campaign official said the mayor engages daily with almost all of Boston’s local news outlets.

Walsh chose the venues, the official said, because their wide audiences will engage a large number of voters.

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The mayor’s swift acceptance of the debate invitations mark a departure from his stance prior to the preliminary election.

Walsh repeatedly said he would debate Jackson, the District 7 councilor since 2011, and two lesser-known challengers.

But he declined several invitations, including a proposal from a consortium of news organizations that included the Boston Globe.

Meghan Irons of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.