Va. District 4 challenger wants to debate Rep. Forbes

Published 12:45 pm Saturday, August 16, 2014

CHESTER—Earlier this week, Virginia District 4 challenger Elliott Fausz, mailed out letters to Congressman Randy Forbes’ offices requesting a series of open debates.

Fausz would like the opening debate in the first week of September before Congress resumes session, and that the debates be in front of a live audience who would be permitted to ask questions with the expectation of a response.

Hailey Sadler, Forbes’ campaign spokesperson, said that they had received the letters this week.

“We were a bit surprised, as we have not yet seen Mr. Fausz file a Report of Receipts and Disbursements for his campaign with the Federal Election Commission,” she said. “However, we will certainly consider his request for an appearance, along with the numerous other appearance requests that Congressman Forbes receives.”

Fausz released a statement through his campaign manager, Chika Anyadike. He is issuing this challenge because he wants to give Virginia’s 4th district voters a chance to hear a discussion on the issues facing the state and country, so that they can be better informed before casting their ballots in November, Fausz said.

“We need to have a series of debates in order to give voters the opportunity to attend at a location that is within reasonable distance to where they live,” he said. “Virginia’s 4th district is expansive, and it is not fair to expect someone in Powhatan to attend a single debate in Chesapeake. Everyone should have a fair opportunity to observe these important discussions.”

Fausz said he understands that Virginians want solutions, and he added that sharing ideas along with substantive critiques will provide a necessary step forward.

Forbes has consistently refused to debate challengers, Fausz said.

“This is not healthy for democracy,” he said. “This country was built on open discussion and the free exchange of ideas.”

Fausz’s office sent out the letters on Monday to Forbes’ offices in Chesapeake, Chesterfield and Washington, D.C.