Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, says another senatorial debate is scheduled at noon Friday at Philander Smith College. He and Libertarian Frank Gilbert will participate. Eldridge said that incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman has been invited.
You may recall that a debate was arranged Sept. 16 at the University of Arkansas and Boozman didn’t show up. He claimed to have not known about the e-mail invitation he was sent and that prompted a would-be moderator, Doug Thompson of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, to not participate.
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The Eldridge camp took no chances this time. They 1) sent an e-mail to Boozman; 2) delivered a personal invitation to his campaign office in Little Rock and 3) sent a certified letter to Boozman’s campaign office in Rogers.
Notified or not, Boozman isn’t likely to turn up.
There will be a 60-minute debate at Philander moderated by Channel 11’s Craig O’Neill and a 15-minute town hall in the campus’ Kendall Center.
An Eldridge news release said it was too critical an election year “to be absent or hiding from the voters.”
“There’s too much to talk about to be sitting on the sidelines,” said Eldridge. “This is the greatest country on earth, but we also have serious issues that require strength, fortitude and leadership to address, and right now Sen. Boozman is showing he is not willing to lead. His excessive foreign travels, his lack of accomplishments in Washington, and his unwillingness to face voters all show how out of touch he is with Arkansas. I’m excited for the opportunity to debate with Frank Gilbert and I know Arkansans are eager to hear our different visions for Arkansas and the U.S. Senate.”
Boozman has indicated he’d participate in one debate, on AETN at 7 p.m. Oct. 12. As customary, I’ve sought a comment. I customarily don’t receive a response from questions to Boozman, either his campaign or his Senate office.