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Debate deadock continues, McConnell accepts KFB invite

Debate deadock continues, McConnell accepts KFB invite

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 9 at 9:46 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Will the 2013 and 2014 Fancy Farm Picnic's political speeches be the only time Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates Mitch McConnell (R) and Alison Grimes (D) will appear on the same stage?

The reluctance of both campaigns to come to a mutual agreement on a debate schedule hasn't softened since McConnell set specific conditions for a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates in a letter to Grimes after the May 20 primary.

A debate scheduled for June 21 at WDRB-TV in Louisville was canceled when only McConnell agreed to it.

Grimes has agreed to an October 13 debate invitation from Kentucky Educational Television,  but McConnell has not.

McConnell's campaign, however, disclosed on Wednesday that McConnell had accepted the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s invitation to participate in an August 20 candidate forum.

"Senator McConnell never misses an opportunity to discuss the issues with Kentucky farmers," said McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.  "He proudly accepts the invitation from the Kentucky Farm Bureau to appear at their candidate forum in August and hopes Alison Lundergan Grimes will do the same."

Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst indicated that the campaigns have not been in contact to discuss a debate schedule.

"We continue to stand ready to debate and await Mitch McConnell's long delayed decision to accept our offer to attend the KET debate," Hurst said.  "As our debate response letter outlined, we would welcome the opportunity to debate in all corners of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, McConnell thinks he owns this Senate seat and hasn't found the time to respond to our letter or sit down and negotiate with our campaign."

While McConnell has stipulated three "Lincoln-Douglas" style debates with no audience and a moderator to act only as a timekeeper, Grimes has pushed for audience participation.

Though Grimes said in a June 5 letter that she agrees with McConnell's condition of "no props" to be used in a debate, her letter did not address McConnell's insistence that the candidates not rely on any notes during the debate.

Grimes disagrees with McConnell's proposal that three debates all occur prior to Labor Day.

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