Republican Andy Barr, who is trying to oust Democrat Ben Chandler from Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District seat, accused Chandler on Thursday of ducking debates.
Barr, a Lexington attorney, said in a news release that he asked Chandler, of Versailles, in a letter more than 100 days ago to join him in open public forums in each of the district's 19 counties. Each debate would be limited to the county's residents.
Barr said Thursday that Chandler has not responded to his invitation
At least six independent, county-based organizations have attempted to schedule debates or candidate forums, Barr said, and Chandler has rebuffed every invitation.
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One was a debate sponsored by the Lexington Forum, which could have occurred Thursday morning, Barr said.
He noted that he has accepted all the debate and candidate forum invitations that he has received.
Chandler was not immediately available to comment on Barr's statement.
"When Ben Chandler announced he was avoiding the Obama Convention, he explained that he wanted to spend more time in the 6th District," Barr said. "He's had plenty of time this week to meet his constituents in an open public forum and explain how he plans to deal with our jobs crisis, address the national debt and save and strengthen Medicare. Yet, he refuses to venture outside the safe confines of staged appearances and check presentations."
In the 2010 race between Barr and Chandler, which Chandler won by 647 votes, the two debated once on Kentucky Educational Television's Kentucky Tonight.
KET has scheduled a debate this year with the candidates for 8 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.