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The Debate Debate Begins in MD's 4th

Rosalind Helderman

In a classic move by a challenger running against a powerful incumbent, Congressional candidate Donna F. Edwards has proposed that she and U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.) take part in a series of five debates between now and the Feb. 12 Democratic primary. Edwards has said the debates would offer voters in Maryland's 4th district, which includes most of Prince George's and part of Montgomery, a chance to hear from the candidates' views on the Iraq war, the environment, health care and other issues.

Edwards, a lawyer and activist, had never run for political office when she came within 3 percentage points in last September's Democratic primary. She has argued he is too far to the right for his liberal district. Now, she's back, attempting to build on her momentum.

But Wynn has redoubled his efforts as well, attempting to convince voters he heard their message last summer and is working harder. He has so far responded to Edwards' challenge with the incumbents' classic response to such calls: Silence.

Challengers often look for frequent debates to drum up interest in their campaigns and gain attention. Likewise, entrenched incumbents believe holding them too early or too often bestows legitimacy on their opponents' efforts.

For his part, Wynn has said he believes Edwards' surprisingly strong showing of the last election is unlikely to be repeated in February. Instead, he is stressing his own work at community events to show he has learned from the message voters sent him last year.

Read a formal debate challenge from Edwards' lawyer here.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  July 11, 2007; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Wynn needs to go. I voted for Edwards in the last primary and will do so again come next one. Edwards convinced me that Wynn is protecting the corporate and special interest not mine.

Posted by: SilverSpring | July 11, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I endorse the comment above.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | July 11, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I can understanad how someone who has been putting their life on the line in Iraq might be given retirement pay before age 55. But if you want to understand where the pressure to raise taxes in Maryland isw coming from, look no further than Police Chief Marcus Brown, age 42, of the Maryland Transportation Authority. This double dipping law enforcer is earning $127,000 in his present job while at the same time earning a "retirement" benefit of $55,000 a year from Baltimore City which gets much of its funding from the state government. MARYLAND NEEDS A LAW TO FORBID THE TAXPAYER FUNDING OF 'RETIREMENT' BENEFITS TO ANYONE BEFORE AGE 55. Why should the rest of the able-bodied work force be subsidizing a favored political class? Private enterprise can pay the benefits and golden parachutes if stockholders approve. But the taxpayers have not approved this Maryland ripoff. How many Marylanders do you think would approve of this $127,000 & $55,000 double dip? The Governor should be ashamed.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin Realty | July 12, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

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