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3rd District debate likely not to happen in runup to midterms

File photo: Rebecca Green
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WBOI News

Third-district Republican Rep. Jim Banks (Columbia City), and his two opponents in the upcoming congressional election are likely not going to have a televised debate this month. Banks backed out which prompted the cancellation.

The debate was organized by WANE 15, and the station announced today that not all parties could agree on a schedule.

But Democrat Gary Snyder and Independent Nathan Gotsch are pointing the finger right at Banks.

In a statement, Snyder says in part “while I am disappointed in Jim Banks' cowardly decision to stymie democracy and your right to know where he stands on the issues, I am not surprised."

Gotsch, taking to social media before he debate was canceled, urged Banks to reconsider withdrawing from the debate, saying “Debates are one of America’s best political traditions and, even in today’s highly fractured media landscape, still one of the most important ways to reach large numbers of voters in an informative and substantive way.”

In a statement posted to their website, WANE 15 says Banks told them the initial date would not work, but when asked for another date that would, Banks’ office did not respond.

Banks did not respond to WBOI’s request for comment.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.