UPDATE: Lamborn reneges on debate with Halter


Halter wants his Republican opponent to face off in a debate. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Halter wants his Republican opponent to face off in a debate.

We just came from the news conference called by Irv Halter, Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District. He notes that after two letters that date back two months seeking a debate with incumbent Doug Lamborn, he's heard nothing. His campaign learned that Lamborn won't debate him from the Independent. (See below).

"Remember, in his statement he accused me of being uncivil, and he wouldn't give me the courtesy of a response," Halter said after the news conference.

Here's the statement Halter read at the news conference:
Today, members of Congress return back to Washington after a long 5-week recess. The summer recess is a time when a member of Congress should be meeting with constituents, traveling the district, and most importantly holding town halls. For years, Congressman Lamborn has avoided holding town halls at all costs; he has essentially gone into hiding. The last public town hall he held in El Paso County was more than a year ago. It was the last time his constituents could ask him questions about his record or learn about the issues that are being discussed in Washington in a public forum.
His failure to hold town halls is a pattern. Last week he failed to attend an important statewide candidate forum addressing veterans’ issues. The United Veterans Committee of Colorado, which represents 460,000 veterans around the state asked candidates to address issues facing veterans. Doug Lamborn didn’t even show up.
Late this morning we learned that Congressman Lamborn has no interest in a debate after we sent him two letters requesting 3 debates. We reached out to his campaign 2 months ago giving us plenty of time to work out a debate schedule. Congressman Lamborn has now flat out refused to debate after telling local reporters that he would be willing to debate. This is a great example of Congressman Lamborn's arrogance. And it's another example of how Lamborn is out of the mainstream of the Republican Party — Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, and Bob Beauprez are debating their opponents, but Congressman Lamborn lacks the courage of his convictions to face his constituents. For the Congressman, it is politics as usual and it's the sort of thing Republicans, Democrats, and Independents hate about Washington and the people we send there.
At a time when campaigns often devolve into 30 second tv commercials, I believe that the voters of our district deserve to hear where a candidate for office stands on important issues. Given reports about Congressman Lamborn’s poor attendance record at VA Committee hearings, his refusal to hold public town halls, and his failure to attend important candidate forums, he should have plenty of time to defend his record to the voters of our district. But we now know he refusing to face his constituents.
Congressman Lamborn is someone who skips candidate forums, ducks debates, misses important committee hearings, and is hiding from town halls. He is a Congressman who doesn’t even show up and real people are hurting because of it.

After telling the Independent in a May interview that he would "be willing" to debate his Democratic challenger, Retired Maj. Gen. Irv Halter, Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn now says he won't do it.

Halter scheduled a news conference today at 2 p.m. to discuss Lamborn's refusal, issuing a news release that states:
Congressional Candidate and Major General (Ret.) Irv Halter will hold a press conference to discuss Congressman Lamborn's refusal to debate. At the event, Halter will be joined by local constituents who want to hear where the candidates stand on important issues.

Halter will also discuss Congressman Lamborn's refusal to hold a town hall during the recent 5 week summer recess. 
We asked Lamborn's spokesman Jarred Rego for a comment, and received this e-mail message today:
Following careful consideration, Congressman Lamborn has declined to participate in debates with Irv Halter. The Congressman will not be providing Mr. Halter with a platform to spread his deceptive rhetoric and uncivil tone.

Congressman Lamborn has engaged with voters consistently this summer, both in individual meetings and at town halls hosted by a variety of employers in our community. People know where Congressman Lamborn stands on the issues. The only person in this race whose positions are unknown is Mr. Halter, who keeps masquerading as a moderate, all while disguising his liberal views.

The voters of the Fifth Congressional District deserve the truth. And the truth is that Mr. Halter is a man who chose to join the Democratic Party in February of 2013, even after observing years of President Obama's failed leadership and mismanagement of our nation.

Rather than stay with the Republican Party and stand up for common sense, conservative values, Mr. Halter has decided to become a cheerleader for Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and he wishes to support their agenda in Washington.
Lamborn historically has refused to debate his Democratic opponents, although he did submit to a debate with his Republican primary challenger, Bentley Rayburn, in June. Lamborn defeated Rayburn by a margin of roughly 52 percent to 48 percent.

The Republican is seeking his fifth term.

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