Long may debate herself in League of Women Voters event

Carolyn Long announced a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of Clark County for 3rd Congressional District candidates today. But it looks like she will be the only candidate in attendance.

According to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s spokeswoman Angeline Riesterer, the congresswoman cannot attend.

“This event unfortunately doesn’t work in Jaime’s schedule, though we do agree it’s important for the candidates to contrast their positions before voters — which is why last month Jaime announced her commitment to three additional debates and forums,” Riesterer said in an email.

The debate is tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Vancouver Community Library, the day before a debate in Goldendale that both candidates plan to attend.

A press release sent by Long’s campaign stated the date was chosen for a time when Congress is not in session to ensure Herrera Beutler could attend.

“A public airing of competing ideas has long been a staple of our democracy and the League of Women Voters has historically provided the public with an impartial arena for civil debate,” Long said in a press release. “I’m glad the League will provide us the opportunity to ensure people get factually accurate information on the issues by holding each other accountable for any inconsistencies or attempts to confuse voters.”

I’ve reached out to the League of Women Voters to see what might happen given that one of the two candidates won’t be attending the debate. I’ll update this post when I have an answer.

UPDATE Sept. 7:

According to Judy Hudson, treasurer with the League of Women Voters of Clark County, Long’s campaign had asked for a debate format with a professional moderator.

“This is something league can do,” Hudson said.

Both candidates would be required to attend, however, meaning if Herrera Beutler can’t make it, the debate is likely off.

Hudson said they are still waiting for communication from Herrera Beutler regarding her attendance.

“I have not heard from Jaime’s campaign. If she is not coming, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t communicate with me. However, our history with Jaime responding to invitations is practically nil,” she said.

Katy Sword

Katy Sword

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

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