With just over two months before the city’s preliminary elections, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and challenger Tito Jackson will discuss their campaigns before live audiences at UMass Boston next week.
The conversations — to be held in the UMass Boston media auditorium — will be broadcast live as part of WBUR’s “Radio Boston” show from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 19 and 20. Meghna Chakrabarti, of WBUR, and Meghan E. Irons, the Boston Globe’s City Hall bureau chief, will cohost the discussions.
The Globe, NBC Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Boston are joining WBUR and the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston in sponsoring the events, with the aim of familiarizing voters with the candidates. Jackson will be interviewed July 19, followed by Walsh on July 20, and both conversations will be livestreamed on BostonGlobe.com.
A limited number of tickets are available to the public at no cost. They can be reserved at www.bostonglobe.com/mayoralconversations.
Although two other candidates — Joseph Wiley and Robert Cappucci — also collected enough signatures to be on the ballot, they trail Walsh and Jackson in fund-raising and polls. Walsh, the incumbent, remains the front-runner, with a 31-point lead over Jackson in a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll.
The conversations next week are intended to give each candidate the opportunity to talk separately about their platforms.
“I look forward to engaging in a meaningful conversation about the many achievements Boston has seen over the past 3 1/2 years and the work ahead to ensure that we’re continuing to create good jobs for Bostonians, build affordable housing, and increase investments in our schools,” Walsh said.
Jackson said he plans to speak about gentrification, his proposal for Boston Public Schools, and promoting small businesses during next week’s conversation.
“I look forward to rolling out my vision, but also standing on my record, which is a record of standing up for a Boston for all people,” the city councilor said.
The sponsoring coalition hopes to also bring the candidates face-to-face at formal debates in the fall. The organizations have submitted to the candidates proposals for a debate before the Sept. 26 preliminary contest and leading up to the Nov. 7 general election. Those debates would be broadcast by WBUR, WBTS, NECN, and Telemundo Boston in both English and — for the first time — Spanish.
“Boston’s English- and Spanish-speaking communities will now have a front-row seat to these debates on multiple platforms including radio, TV broadcast, cable, and live online and app streaming, with the opportunity for viewer interaction with the candidates,” said Kenny Plotnik, vice president and news director for NBC Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Boston.
Jackson challenged Walsh to a face-off in a radio appearance last month. While Walsh did not directly respond to Jackson, he has expressed interest in participating in three debates before the general election.
“I’m the one who called for them,” Jackson said. “Not only am I committed — I’m willing to have a debate anywhere and anytime.”Claire Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach her on Twitter @ClaireParkerDC.