All Politics is Local

It’s her debate, you can come if you want to

A lack of debates quickly became a campaign issue in the race for the 3rd Congressional District. So much so that one of the candidates is hosting a debate of their own.

The candidates — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Carolyn Long — participated in the first of two forums last week. The turnout in Woodland was overwhelming. The only other public forum featuring the two candidates is Oct. 17 in Goldendale, nearly 120 miles away from Vancouver. (Yes, Goldendale is in the district, the 3rd Congressional actually spans all the way to Alderdale and is about 200 miles edge to edge.)

Residents of Clark County — the biggest voting population in the district — are without an opportunity to hear the candidates in person.

CVTV hosted a quick forum that’s available online, but an opportunity for Clark County to see candidates in person hosted by the League of Women Voters of Clark County fell through. The League had scheduled a debate and hired a professional moderator for an event scheduled for Oct. 16. When Herrera Beutler declined to respond to their invitation, the debate was cancelled.

Long’s campaign decided to take the issue into its own hands and offer to host a debate for both candidates in Clark County. Herrera Beutler did not respond to their invitation. So Long is hosting a town hall anyway and announced an open invitation should Herrera Beutler change her mind.

“I continue to be disappointed with my opponent’s failure to respond to voters’ call for a real debate on the issues facing the families of our district,” Long said in a press release. “Unlike my opponent, I will continue to make myself available to the public across Southwest Washington because I believe voters want someone who will show up and look them in the eye when explaining their strategy to bring more family wage jobs to our communities, increase access to affordable healthcare, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.”

The event is slated for 6 p.m. Oct. 16 in Battle Ground at the Center Point Conference Center. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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