(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Four Republican gubernatorial candidates for Pennsylvania Governor have made what another candidate called a “Diva-Esque demand.”

Bill McSwain, Lou Barletta, Jake Corman and Dave White’s campaigns all agreed to set a criteria that must be met before all candidates will attend any debate.

The criteria includes:

  • Any moderator must be a registered Republican and live in Pennsylvania
  • The moderator has not spoken negatively or worked for a company that has spoken about any of the candidates.
  • They have not endorsed or donated to the candidates on stage.
  • No questions with answers shorter than 30 seconds.

“A number of the men running for Governor – candidates who will leap at a chance to bemoan “cancel culture” or “safe spaces” if they think it will earn them a spot on cable news that night- issued a peculiar statement today selling out conditions for their participation in any debate.

I am not afraid of tough questions, and I will not demand to see the registration card of the question before I answer.

I have enough faith in the good sense of the voters of our Commonwealth that I am not able to hide behind the curtains of a debate stage until I am confident everything will follow a predetermined script. I welcome a chance to debate, and to take our case – and our conservative Republican idea – to the people of the Keystone State.”

Melissa Hart (R) Candidate for Pennsylvania Governor

“We are proud to join with our fellow Republican candidates to participate only in debates that allow for the unbiased discussion of issues most important to our Commonwealth, respect the gubernatorial office, and whose purpose is to help voters gain insight into each candidate’s unique message. By adhering to the agreed upon guidelines, we can ensure that voters are not misled or unfairly influenced by moderators with a hostile or partisan agenda, and that the focus remains on candidates and their message for Pennsylvania.” 

Rachel Tripp, Spokesperson for Bill McSwain for Governor Campaign.

“Republicans ought to be the ones who control a Republican process to choose the Republican nominee for governor. It’s as simple as that. The media aren’t motivated to select the best candidate to beat Josh Shapiro, but Republicans are.”

Tim Murtaugh, Senior Advisor to Lou Barletta Campaign.

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Mercyhurst University Political Professor Dr. Joe Morris said this is acceptable at some level, primaries are supposed to be party affairs.

“On the other hand, I think this poses a real problem for the Republican primary. Competitions are also used as an opportunity to really test these candidates and see how well they are going to do against their rival party in the general election. I don’t think that this is doing the Republican party any favors,” said Dr. Joe Morris, Political Analyst, Mercyhurst University.