Spanberger Campaign Calls on Congressman Brat to Honor Previously Agreed Upon Debate in Metro Richmond

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The Spanberger campaign just sent out the following press release in reference to debates. AS of right now, only one debate has been set up.


HENRICO, VA — Today, the Spanberger for Congress campaign called upon their opponent, Dave Brat, to honor a mutually-agreed-upon, scheduled, televised debate on October 25th, 2018. Last week, a member of Brat’s staff informed the Spanberger campaign that they would no longer be able to abide by the terms previously agreed to for a debate in the Metro Richmond area, the population center of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.


“Voters across the 7th deserve an opportunity to hear from the candidates directly about the issues important to them and their families,” said Spanberger Campaign Manager Dana Bye. “Congressman Brat has repeatedly falsely stated that Abigail has not been clear about where she stands on the issues, but now he is the one who doesn’t want to have a robust public debate. If Congressman Brat believes his vision is the most reflective of the district, he should make himself available to share it.”


The following letter was transmitted to the Brat campaign office this afternoon:


October 1, 2018


Mr. Phil Rapp

Campaign Manager

Dave Brat for Congress

0124 W. Broad Street, Ste.H

Glen Allen, VA 23060


Dear Mr. Rapp,


On behalf of the Spanberger for Congress Campaign, I write to express our disappointment in your indication to no longer honor our agreement to hold a debate in the metro Richmond area on October 25th. As we saw last night with registration for the October 15th Culpeper debate, where all 150 general admission tickets sold out in a matter of seconds, there is a high level of interest by the voters of the 7th Congressional District to learn and hear from the candidates running to represent them in Washington.


Our campaign strongly believes that all 7th district voters deserve to have the issues that are important to them — from affordable healthcare to protecting Social Security to good paying jobs — discussed in a public forum with a neutral moderator.


We are disappointed by your campaign’s sudden withdrawal from the metro Richmond debate. Since July, our campaign has made numerous attempts with your team to facilitate a fair, open, and civil discussion between the candidates. We believed arrangements were being made in good faith when campaign manager Katey Price confirmed on August 21, 2018, that the Brat campaign would participate in the October 25, 2018 debate. Subsequently, Ms. Price conducted a walkthrough of the proposed debate venue on September 12 with the host, local TV affiliate WTVR, in attendance. The Brat campaigned re-confirmed their participation in the debate during the walkthrough.


As it stands, the Richmond debate was the only confirmed event to be televised, allowing the greatest number of 7th district residents to hear from the candidates directly. By not honoring this agreement, voters of the 7th are losing a crucial opportunity to hear the candidates voice their respective visions for the district.


Out of respect for 7th district residents and the democratic process, along with the necessary logistical demands for planning a televised debate, we urge the Brat campaign to publicly reaffirm your commitment to the October 25, 2018 debate with WTVR by 5:00 PM on October 3, 2018.


Thank you for your time, and we look forward to working together.




Dana Bye

Campaign Manager

Spanberger for Congress

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