Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers is apparently unwilling to debate her Democratic opponent in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the News & Observer. Steve Wilkins told the newspaper that Ellmers has turned down an invitation to debate on WTVD-TV.
I feel your pain Mr. Wilkins. I believe all ballot-qualified candidates should agree to debate, anywhere and in any venue, and that the media has a duty and obligation to cover all candidates fairly and equally. I think all ballot-qualified candidates should be invited to debates by the sponsors and organizers.
Unfortunately, WTVD and WRAL apparently don’t believe that. I wasn’t invited to take part in the WTVD debate. Nor will WRAL allow me to tape a video for their online candidate guide, a service they’ve offered to the Republican and Democratic candidates.
I believe anyone in office, or seeking office, has a duty and responsibility to accept any and all invitations to speak to groups and especially to debate. Mrs. Ellmers herself has noted that she’s new to the district due to redistricting. That should make such personal contact even more important.
The model I’m using for my campaign is the same model I will use if elected, that of the citizen-servant envisioned by our nation’s founders when they wrote the Constitution.
No amount of flashy TV advertising can substitute for actually meeting and talking with your constituents.