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No debate in the 5th Congressional District

For the first time in decades, there will be no debate or face-to-face forum for candidates in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District race because the incumbent is refusing to participate.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ campaign said Wednesday she will not debate Democratic challenger Daryl Romeyn “due to scheduling constraints.”

McMorris Rodgers, seeking her fourth term in the House where she holds a GOP leadership position, declined this week to participate in the one proposed televised debate, a one-hour question-and-answer session next week on KSPS-TV and KXLY-TV, after more than a month of discussions.

She also turned down other forums with Romeyn, a novice candidate whom she outpolled nearly 5-to-1 in the primary and holds a 100-to-1 advantage in campaign contributions in the latest spending reports.

“I don’t think that’s the way American democracy works,” Romeyn, a former television weatherman and outdoor reporter, said. “They must feel putting her out there (in a debate) would do more damage than holding her back.”

McMorris Rodgers said Wednesday  her campaign waited to commit to debates because Romeyn was slow to file reports with the Federal Election Commission after the primary and “we weren’t sure how serious of a candidate he was.” The campaign later tried to identify some dates but couldn’t fit them in with other scheduled events…to read more, click here to go inside the blog.