Anti-fracking protesters are assembled outside the old Senator Hotel, a few dozen reporters are seated in the lobby and Neel Kashkari has had a Coke Zero and gone for his run.
The only scheduled debate of this year’s gubernatorial race begins at 7 p.m.
The 60-minute confrontation between Kashkari and Gov. Jerry Brown, the only debate Brown would agree to, comes relatively early in the campaign and coincides with the opening night of the National Football League season.
The timing serves to dampen expectations for widespread viewership, but for Kashkari, an underfunded, little-known Republican, it offers his highest profile platform yet.
Brown’s campaign declined to detail his preparations for the debate. Kashkari said on Twitter on Thursday morning that he ate two bananas and drank a Coke Zero. A photographer took a photograph of him jogging downtown Thursday afternoon.
The debate will be moderated by John Myers, senior editor of KQED’s politics and government desk.