The two leading candidates for Maryland’s open Senate seat appear to be at an impasse in their negotiation over a debate schedule, with Republican Kathy Szeliga’s campaign preparing to accept debate invitations unilaterally.
Szeliga, a state lawmaker from Baltimore County and the underdog in Maryland, offered to attend six debates in the Baltimore and Washington media markets, a campaign spokeswoman said. Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen has so far agreed to two of those debates — both in Baltimore — the spokeswoman said.
Of course this leads to a variety of questions. Why does Van Hollen only want to debate twice? Is he that afraid of Kathy Szeliga getting more exposure? Why does Van Hollen only want to debate in Baltimore? Is he afraid of the people who know him best finding out what he’s been up to since he’s been a DC insider the last 14 years?
Of course the Szeliga campaign has already agreed to at least seven of these debates. Van Hollen and company are only committed to the two that will put the candidates on television. Is Van Hollen so afraid of facing Maryland’s voters that he won’t commit to debates where there might be voter ineraction?
Van Hollen and his camp are clearly running scared. Why else would they fall back on the tired old Democratic trope of trying to tie a Republican candidate to Donald Trump?
“It’s unfortunate that the Szeliga campaign is acting in bad faith by engaging in Trump-like attacks in the press instead of returning our calls to continue those negotiations,” spokeswoman Bridgett Frey said in a statement. “Congressman Van Hollen participated in all nine debates and forums during the Democratic primary, and he looks forward to continuing that conversation with voters this fall.”
That’s not the talk of a confident campaign.
Regardless, Van Hollen owes it to the people of Maryland to debate as often as possible. He has a record, an extensive one that is not in the best interst of Marylanders. The people have a right to not only see him defend it during two televised debates, but to also be questoned directly by the people of Maryland.