Special congressional election candidate Celeste Maloy announced a rigorous debate schedule on Tuesday morning, saying her two Republican primary opponents, Bruce Hough and Becky Edwards, had accepted her challenge to participate in 10 debates in 10 counties in under two weeks — a claim the Edwards campaign has denied.

“There has been no confirmation of any debates at this point,” a spokesperson for the Edwards campaign told the Deseret News in a phone call Tuesday morning.

Maloy told the Deseret News that the confusion was the result of a misunderstanding between the Edwards campaign and the Maloy campaign. Maloy told her campaign last weekend that Edwards was willing to participate in the scheduled debates but apparently had not received a formal agreement from the Edwards campaign.

“This one’s on me,” Maloy said in a phone call with the Deseret News, explaining she thought she was accurately reflecting Edwards’ feelings about participating in the debates and had no intention of misrepresenting them.

“I would love for her to participate in any debate she’s comfortable with,” Maloy said. 

The new controversy in the race to replace Rep. Chris Stewart comes just one day after a lawsuit seeking to disqualify Maloy over concerns about her voter registration when she entered the race was rejected.

In the weeks following her win at the special GOP nominating convention, Maloy issued an invitation to Hough and Edwards to join her on the debate stage in all 13 counties represented within the district.

Hough responded, saying he was “ready anytime and anywhere,” but Edwards hadn’t committed. She later told the Deseret News that she was “looking forward to having another opportunity to debate and bring our ideas in front of people across the state” if the state party were to host one.

On Tuesday morning, Maloy publicly announced a debate schedule beginning on Aug. 4 and running nearly every night through August 14.

“I appreciate my opponents’ willingness to accept my challenge to debate throughout the district, and I look forward to highlighting the differences that exist between the candidates,” she said in a post on social media.

However, soon after the debate schedule was reported, a spokesperson for the Edwards campaign denied the campaign had agreed to participate and said that the press release made false claims.

A spokesperson for the Hough campaign confirmed to the Deseret News that they had coordinated with the Maloy campaign to schedule the debates.

“We plan on attending every debate that’s offered. We will be at all 10 debates,” Hough’s spokesperson said.

The debates will be organized and hosted by county Republican parties and will be moderated mostly by county GOP officials, the Hough spokesperson said. The final debate will be hosted by KSL and will be moderated by Boyd Matheson and televised across the state, according to a Maloy press release.

The first debate will be this Friday at the Farmington City building, followed by a debate on Saturday in Washington County.