Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Boucher to debate challengers
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A Republican challenger in the 9th Congressional District will get at least part of his wish for debates with the incumbent.
Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon, has agreed to a single televised debate with GOP challenger Kevin Triplett and independent candidate Seth Davis. It will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 over WDBJ-TV (Channel 7).
Triplett, a former NASCAR executive now living in Abingdon, has been issuing press releases for nearly a month and making appearances throughout the district challenging Boucher to a series of debates in Bristol, Bluefield, Stuart and Roanoke. He has also called for joint appearances in each of the district's 22 counties.
A Triplett spokesman said Monday that the effort would continue. "We're going to keep pushing for as many as possible, to reach the greatest number of people," said Ronnie Whittaker, at Triplett's campaign office in Abingdon.
But Boucher said Monday he would do only the one debate, as has been his practice in his re-election bids. He said he accepted the televised debate invitation weeks ago. But nobody told Triplett, who was continuing his daily "Where's Rick?" debate challenges.
Boucher said this will be the fourth time during his 22 years in office that the debate has been televised.
Davis, the independent candidate who is an Alleghany County high school teacher, is also scheduled to take part in the debate.