U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said he won’t debate his challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner again before the November election.
The two challengers for Oregon’s 2nd District debated a wide range of issues in their first meeting that aired on Bend television station KTVZ Friday.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner is the Democratic candidate for the seat. Her campaign has raised more money to unseat Walden than all previous Democrats to run against him combined.
The two challengers had disagreed over the terms of the debate, especially over whether it would be in-studio or in public.
McLeod-Skinner pressed Walden about whether he’d debate her again in Southern and Eastern Oregon.
“My question remains, sir, will you commit to two more debates before ballots drop? It’s a yes or no,” McLeod-Skinner asked.
“We’re here debating, this is where we should be talking about the issues. I don’t think we’re going to do anymore debates, if that’s the answer,” Walden replied.
Walden said he’s held countless meetings around the district and that the people there understand the work he’s done.
“What I am hearing as I travel around the state is you are not showing up, you are not listening,” McLeod-Skinner said.
Friday’s debate was their only scheduled debate ahead of the November election.
“I don’t think people want a debate on debates,” Walden said. “I don’t think we are going to do any more debates.”
Walden is Oregon’s only Republican in Congress. He has easily won each of his campaigns since he was first elected to Congress in 1998.
Independent Party candidate Mark Roberts was expected to participate but was unable to attend, citing illness.
Local election agencies will began mailing ballots to voters on Oct. 17. Election Day is Nov. 6.