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Debate before runoff a long shot

The underdog always wants a debate, and Whit Hughes is no different. Hughes challenged Michael Guest to two debates ahead of their June 26 runoff for the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary.

Guest finished with about 45 percent of votes across the district’s 24 counties Tuesday. Hughes was second with about 21 percent.

“In a letter sent to Michael Guest yesterday, Whit Hughes challenged his opponent to two debates and asked for him to accept or decline by 3:00 pm today. The Guest campaign has stated that they refuse to debate Mr. Hughes,” a statement from the campaign read.

While voters might benefit from hearing the two men debate issues they largely agree on, Guest probably would not. He finished in first because he has name recognition and raised a ton of cash. A debate with Hughes only gives his opponent free press and the opportunity to create some momentum.

“He is refusing to debate me. We need to respect voters and have a debate in this runoff. The reality is, there are tens of thousands of voters that simply stayed home or voted for another candidate. It is wrong for us to not have a one-one-one debate as those voters are making their decision on who to support. Frankly, it is ridiculous to decline a one-on-one debate with your runoff opponent,” Hughes said in a statement.

Hughes may be right, but a debate seems like a long shot.