After ducking the traditional first debate between Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, Gov. Kate Brown will face off against GOP nominee Dr. Bud Pierce in Bend on Sept. 24.

The debate, organized by the Society of Professional Journalists, will focus on issues of concern to rural Oregonians.

"The Oregon Territory SPJ believes it is important to have an honest and open exchange at the highest levels about the state's future in rural areas," Oregon SPJ President Samantha Swindler, a columnist at The Oregonian, said in a statement. "With more than a month between this debate and election day, we hope the issues raised will help give voters enough time to learn where the two major candidates stand on a range of rural issues, from the environment to education to the economy."

SPJ will present the debate in association with journalists from the East Oregonian, Bend's KTVZ-TV and Jefferson Public Radio.

The location for the debate has not been set.