WirePOLITICS: 8th District candidates look to schedule debates

Tom Waring, the Wire

State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, the Democratic nominee in the 8th Congressional District, and Republican Brian Fitzpatrick are trying to schedule debates.

After Santarsiero challenged Fitzpatrick to monthly debates on May 11, the Republican responded two days later by telling the Bucks County Courier Times that he would “debate my opponent every day from now until Election Day if he so chooses.”

The Santarsiero campaign reached out to Fitzpatrick’s campaign team on May 17 to coordinate a debate schedule and settle on dates.

“From issues ranging from growing the economy to protecting our air and water, the voters deserve a spirited debate on the issues facing our district and our country,” Santarsiero said. “I’m prepared to speak directly to the voters to discuss the solutions Pennsylvania families deserve, and I hope that Brian will abide by his promise and join me in a debate this month.”

The Santarsiero campaign wants debates and town halls across the district. The Democrat is available to debate on the evenings of June 9, 12, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25 and 26.

“The time is now for Brian Fitzpatrick to join Steve in giving the voters an unfiltered view of the candidates’ positions,” said Santarsiero campaign manager Eric Goldman. “Voters are tired of politics as usual and want a real debate on the issues.”

Fitzpatrick, too, wants a series of debates focused on the issues.

“The time for political games by politicians is over. The time Is now for both candidates to put on full display for the voters our respective experiences, records of accomplishment and vision for the future,” he said.

The Fitzpatrick campaign noted that it called for debates following the April 26 primary.

“After our initial call for debates immediately after the primary election, our opponent responded by requesting a series of six debates. Brian Fitzpatrick wholeheartedly accepts that challenge,” said Athan Koutsiouroumbas, spokesman for Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick wants six debates, including ones on WBCB (1490 AM) and WNPV (1440 AM), in front of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and the Northampton Township Business and Professional Association and at Bucks County Community College’s Lower Bucks Campus.

“These venues are distributed across the district, and the hosts have earned the respect of our community. We eagerly await our opponent’s response,” Koutsiouroumbas said.

The first debate, at WBCB, would take place in the late morning or early afternoon.