State Sen. Eric Stewart is continuing to ramp up pressure on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in an effort to receive a response to requests for the two to debate before the November general election.
Less than a week after winning the Democratic Party primary, Stewart began pushing for the first-term Republican congressman to participate in three debates, one of which would most likely be held in Murfreesboro.
In a letter sent Tuesday to DesJarlais, who could not be reached for comment, Stewart contends voters should have the opportunity to listen to both sides of the aisle on various issues,
Stewart, who currently represents the 14th District Senate seat in the Tennessee General Assembly, is running against DesJarlais in the 4th Congressional District race.
Despite launching an aggressive media campaign aimed at cornering DesJarlais into either declining or agreeing to the debates, the first-term Republican congressman has yet to respond to the request.
"Folks around here want candidates to debate, so that they can learn about who is running for office and the candidates' positions on the most important issues to this district," Stewart said.
He said voters want the chance to look both candidates in the eyes and ask tough questions to see who is trustworthy.
"We have been doing debates for years in this country, and the people of the 4th District deserve to have three debates during this congressional campaign," Stewart said.
Stewart is asking for a response by Monday, Aug. 13, so that both the Republican and Democratic campaigns have a chance to organize the events.
In his letter, Stewart also offered for his staff to work with DesJarlais's staff to find a location and time for the events.
"There's not many politicians in Washington, D.C., working together right now, but my campaign is willing to work with DesJarlais's campaign to set up debates in this district," Stewart said, "so that voters can have a chance to hear from both of us together talking about things like jobs, improving our economy, and making sure that government is keeping the promises it made to our seniors."