Sanders schedules first debates in 4th District race

Journal and Courier

Democrat David Sanders is moving forward with debate plans in the 4th District congressional race, despite what he called a lack of response from Republican candidate Todd Rokita.

Sanders announced this morning the scheduling of two debates next month in southern counties in the expansive 4th District. He has teamed up with the Libertarian candidate in the race in arranging the events. One debate will be held Aug. 10 in Ellettsville, in Monroe County, and one on Aug. 24 in Greenwood, in Johnson County. “A vibrant democracy requires informed voters,” Sanders said. “One of the best ways to do that is to hold debates.” Sanders expressed frustration that he hasn’t received any response from Rokita’s campaign in the 50 days since the Democrat extended in invitation to schedule a round of debates across the district. Mike Sullivan, campaign spokesman for Rokita, reiterated an earlier statement that Rokita is waiting for debate invitations to come in from organizations, such as the various chambers of commerce and farm bureaus in the district. “When parties schedule debates, all you get is small crowds and partisan crowds,” Sullivan said. While he didn’t rule out that Rokita, Indiana’s current secretary of state, would attend the debates proffered by Sanders, Sullivan said it will depend on what is already on the campaign’s schedule. Rokita was not in the campaign office today, Sullivan said. Sanders said ideally he’d like to participate in one debate in each of the district’s 12 counties, but said nine or 10 debates would suffice.