DesJarlais says 'no' to Stewart's call to debate

DesJarlais says 'no' to Stewart's call to debate

August 13th, 2012 by Chris Carroll in Local - Breaking News

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has rejected his Democratic opponent's call to debate three times over the next month in the 4th Congressional District race.

Last week, Democratic State Sen. Eric Stewart of Belvedere challenged DesJarlais to a trio of debates and asked for a response by today.

DesJarlais emailed Stewart's campaign Sunday, beating Stewart's deadline with an unfriendly response.

"While I am open to revisiting the debate question later in the campaign, your lack of clarity on the issues give me no reason for or basis from which we could currently debate," DesJarlais wrote.

Stewart issued a news release this afternoon, saying he's "shocked but not surprised" at DesJarlais' decision.

"Congressman DesJarlais has bragged about being part of the 'Do Nothing Congress,' and now it's clear that he wants to be a 'Do Nothing Candidate,'" Stewart said.

A DesJarlais spokesman would not confirm whether the congressman would ever debate Stewart before the Nov. 6 general election.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.