It doesn’t appear the Democratic or Republican hopefuls for the 2nd District U.S. House seats will be going head-to-head in debates ahead of the May 8 primary.
The underdog candidates — judging by funds raised — say they’d be open to the notion of a face-to-face meeting. The big names in each contest, though, don’t seem to be tripping over themselves to organize anything.
Dan Morrison, who’s running for the 2nd District seat as a Democrat, challenged Brendan Mullen, also a Democrat, to a debate on Dyngus Day, April 9. Mullen has raised nearly $550,000 for his campaign while Morrison hasn’t generated any money, according to federal campaign reports.
“He says he can’t do it, just too tough a schedule,” lamented Morrison, who works for an Elkhart County recreational vehicle manufacturer.
Greg Andrews, running for the 2nd District seat as a Republican, said he wishes there would be a debate with Jackie Walorski, the other GOP hopeful. However, he hasn’t pressed the issue, though he said there was talk a couple months back, and he “kind of went with the flow.”
Walorski, a former state lawmaker from the Jimtown area, has raised around $800,000 for her campaign to just $7,414 by Andrews, a South Bend doctor.
Brooks Kochvar, Walorski’s spokesman, said there’s never been talk of a Republican debate that he knows of. At any rate, Walorski has kept busy, appearing at events all over the district.
MORRISON SEEMS UPSET
The absence of a debate doesn’t seem to miff Andrews. And though they may not face off in a head-to-head format, the GOP and Democratic candidates have appeared at various events at the same time.
Still, Morrison seems upset.
Whenever they appear at events together, Mullen, of South Bend, always seems to dwell on his college days playing for the Army football squad and his service in the military, said Morrison. Mullen served in the U.S. Army in Iraq following graduation from West Point and now runs a consulting firm.
“He rarely talks about the issues and that’s where I need to challenge him, on the issues,” Morrison said. Mullen, he continued, “doesn’t want to discuss the issues head to head.”
In a statement, Mullen spokesman Andy Reynolds noted that Mullen and Morrison have appeared jointly at campaign events. Mullen “enjoyed several joint forums with Dan where he shared his ideas of how to create jobs and cut spending,” the statement said, in part.