Forbes should welcome debate

Published 9:55 am Saturday, October 9, 2010

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., should be licking his chops over the opportunity to debate Democratic opponent Wynne LeGrow, a retired Emporia physician.

The two candidates in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District couldn’t be more different.

Forbes is a devout Christian who has worked tirelessly to keep God in the nation’s conscience and in its public discourse. LeGrow is an avowed atheist.

Forbes, a proponent of limited government, fiercely opposed the health care reform law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year. LeGrow supports the law.

In a conservative region like the 4th District, which spans from Chesapeake to Western Tidewater to Emporia, it seems that Forbes would welcome the opportunity to stand on the same podium as LeGrow and expose his opponent’s liberal views.

Curiously, though, Forbes was unresponsive to an invitation by the Virginia Peninsula League of Women Voters to take on LeGrow in a debate. He’s also been unresponsive to our newspaper’s attempt to find out why he shunned the debate invitation. That’s unusual for Forbes, a straight-up guy whose re-election bids we have endorsed over the years.

Perhaps he figures he’s got the election in the bag and has nothing to gain by debating LeGrow. Again, that would be out of character for Forbes, a political bulldog who’s never shied away from a fight.

We hope he changes his mind. With more than three weeks left until the election, there’s still time.