Banks, Tritch Spar In Statements Over Debate Scheduling
Democratic 3rd District House candidate Courtney Tritch repeated her request to Republican Rep. Jim Banks to have four debates before the Nov. 6 elections during a campaign rally Wednesday night.
Supporters stood behind Tritch at the rally with 12 signs, each with a date in September and October she's suggesting for debates. Tritch says time is running out for them to meet on stage.
“When does he want to debate me, after the election? That is unacceptable,” Tritch said.
While Banks has not publicly committed to a debate date, he did release a statement ahead of Wednesday’s rally. He called Tritch a “full time left wing activist,” and criticized past comments made by two of the rally’s featured speakers, Pablo Hurtado and Tom Hayhurst, pertaining to ICE, Vice President Mike Pence and single-payer healthcare.
“I think my very liberal opponent owes us all some answers or she should distance herself from the disgraceful and offensive comments of her speakers,” said Banks, while reiterating his commitment to debates in the future.
A spokesperson for the Tritch campaign responded saying, “If Rep. Banks would like to actually discuss the issues, then he can confirm four debate dates for this fall, as we've requested.”
But will Tritch actually get four debates?
Political analyst Andy Downs says it’s common for challengers to request a large amount of debates from an incumbent because they generally serve to benefit the challenger. He says incumbents usually end up agreeing to a smaller amount.
Downs adds that it’s typical for debates to not be scheduled by this point in the campaign.
“Obviously for a lot of folks, what they hope to see are debates running throughout the entire campaign season. That way, there’s plenty of time for people to get information, there’s a constant flow,” he said.
The Nov. 6 midterm election is 82 days away.
Tritch’s proposed debate dates:
Tuesday, September 18
Wednesday, September 19
Monday, September 24
Friday, October 5
Friday, October 17
Saturday, October 18
Sunday, October 19
Wednesday, October 22
Thursday, October 23
Friday, October 24
Saturday, October 25
Sunday, October 26
Aug. 15 Statement from Banks:
"First and foremost, I think it is important for voters to know who Courtney Tritch is, and each of her rallies provides a more complete picture of her views as a full time left wing activist. The speakers at her event today have previously voiced radical views that I believe are contrary to northeast Indiana’s shared Hoosier values and raise questions that must be answered. We can only assume Ms. Tritch agrees with the positions of her featured speakers, but I would like to give her an opportunity to respond to public statements shared by anti-ICE activist Pablo Hurtado and single payer healthcare advocate Tom Hayhurst:
Does Ms. Tritch believe that all Trump voters are racist? (link)
Does Ms. Tritch believe the despicable personal attack on an American hero that "communists are undefeated against Senator John McCain and his family?” (see photo)
Does Ms. Tritch believe that Vice President Pence is a “piece of shit?” (link)
Does Ms. Tritch believe we should abolish ICE? (see photo)
Does Ms. Tritch continue to believe in a single payer government-run health care system? (link)
As Ms. Tritch and major media outlets know, I am not only committed, but look forward to debating as we get closer to Election Day. In the meantime, I think my very liberal opponent owes us all some answers or she should distance herself from the disgraceful and offensive comments of her speakers.”
Aug. 15 Statement from Tritch Campaign:
"If Rep. Banks would like to actually discuss the issues, then he can confirm four debate dates for this fall, as we've requested. Then the voters will be able to see for themselves that Courtney Tritch is the only candidate who will represent every resident of Indiana's 3rd District."