SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Rep. Scott DesJarlais has said no to a series of debates with his Democratic challenger in the 4th District congressional race.
State Sen. Eric Stewart called for three debates in a challenge issued the night of the Aug. 2 primary. Stewart said the debate would help introduce the candidates to voters in the newly redrawn district, now anchored in southern Middle and East Tennessee.
DesJarlais' written reply to Stewart, obtained Tuesday by the Shelbyville Times Gazette, rejected a debate and cited Stewart's "lack of clarity on the issues" as a reason. The freshman Republican left open the option for a debate before the Nov. 2 election.
Stewart responded that DesJarlais is a member of a "do nothing Congress" who wants to be a "do nothing candidate."