Why Won’t Chris Debate?

As everyone turns their attention to the upcoming Presidential debate, it should be noted there are a lack of debates scheduled in the race for Maryland’s open United States Senate seat.  Brian noted back in August that the gauntlet had been thrown down for debates in this race.

Recently, Republican candidate for US Senate, Delegate Kathy Szeliga discussed how her opponent Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been avoiding debating her.

Van Hollen required Charlestown Retirement Community to schedule two separate forums rather than share a stage with Szeliga.  Van Hollen also refused to attend the forum hosted by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

The Szeliga campaign issued the following statement:

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“Leave it to His Royal Highness Chris Van Hollen to demand that a retirement community host two separate forums so he can avoid debating Kathy Szeliga. This is exactly what’s wrong with career politicians like Chris Van Hollen. He has completely forgotten he works for the people of Maryland, including those people living in Charlestown. Maryland taxpayers pay Congressman Van Hollen’s six-figure salary – and the million dollars he’s paid Bill Parsons. The least he can do is answer their questions. Congressman Van Hollen has been honing his debate skills for decades as a career politician, while Kathy Szeliga was busy running her small business. He’s clearly had the debate practice – he’s just chicken to run on his terrible record, including his vote against Medicare Part D.” Leslie Shedd, Kathy for Maryland Communications Director

Van Hollen then demanded that the dates of two planned televised debates be changed.  These last minute schedule demands drew an angry response from the Szeliga campaign:

“Congressman Van Hollen has had the last three months to tell WBAL and MPT he could not attend their debate onSeptember 27th. Instead, he has waited until the last minute and, like the prima donna he is, is demanding that everyone involved alter their schedules to accommodate him. If he has a legitimate reason he cannot attend theWBAL debate on September 27th that he could not have planned for over the last three months, then we are willing to alter Kathy’s schedule once again to accommodate him. Otherwise, he has had plenty of time to plan ahead for this.” Leslie Shedd, Kathy for Maryland Communications Director
It is not hard to imagine why Van Hollen would be wanting to avoid any real debates. His lead in the polls is substantial and he has a significant advantage in fundraising. No doubt Van Hollen believes he can hide his record from the voters and keep them from knowing any of the following:

Certainly Delegate Szeliga could point out much more in a debate.

It is little wonder why Chris won’t debate lest Maryland voters find out the truth about him.

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