The Debate Debate Begins in MD's 4th
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.
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