Nebraska U.S. Senate candidate Don Stenberg is urging rival Jon Bruning to change his mind and accept a Tea Party organization’s invitation for the first debate in the 2012 race.
Stenberg, currently the state’s treasurer, says another candidate, state Senator Deb Fischer of Valentine, has signed on for the face-offs.
“Senator Fischer has agreed to several debates,” Stenberg says. “We have been asked to participate in seven and we’ve agreed to do all seven of those. My understanding is that most of these folks have not heard from the Jon Bruning campaign and it appears he is not looking forward to debates.”
Bruning, who filed to run for Senate earlier this week, says he’s focused on his job as the state’s attorney general, adding, there will be plenty of opportunity for debate — later.
“We’ve got a lot of time before the May 15th primary and I don’t see any need to have two dozen debates,” Bruning says. “We’ve received two dozen requests and we’re just not going to do that. We’ve gotta’ have other things go on in this state, including me trying to do my job as attorney general and maybe Don ought to go try to do his job as treasurer a little bit.”
Stenberg says Bruning is the only Republican Senate candidate who refuses to participate in the February 11th Republican Liberty Caucus in Kearney.
In response, the Bruning campaign sent Nebraska Radio Network a copy of a Lincoln Journal Star article from the 2006 U. S. Senate campaign in which Stenberg attached conditions on his participation in debates.
In addition to Stenberg, Bruning and Fischer, other candidates in the race include financial advisor Pat Flynn of Schuyler and Spencer Zimmerman, an Air Force Veteran from Omaha.
Tyson Havranek, KHAS, Hastings