SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, on Tuesday did not rule out participating in a series of debates with his Republican challenger, Urbana attorney Erika Harold.
Harold on Tuesday sent a letter and email to Davis, suggesting a series of at least 14 debates, one for every county in the 13th Congressional District that Davis represents.
"Republican primary voters have been requesting a series of debates," Harold said in her letter to Davis. "It has been suggested that a series of 14 debates, with at least one debate to be held in each of the 14 counties comprising the 13th Congressional District, would afford voters the best opportunity to compare our views on the issues of greatest importance to them. Voters deserve this opportunity. Accordingly, I commit to participating in a debate in each of the 14 counties."
McLean County Republican Party Chairman John Parrott last month suggested that Davis and Harold hold a debate in each county of the district that extends from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Edwardsville and Collinsville on the southwest.
Davis, who was in Springfield on Tuesday, said he had not seen the communication from Harold.
"We'll talk about it when we see the information. We'll discuss what the schedule is going to look like and find out how we're going to make things happen," he said.
Davis noted that the two had debated before, when they held a series of forums as part of the selection process to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson of Urbana on the November 2012 election ballot. Johnson announced his retirement shortly after winning the Republican primary that spring.
"It's not an unfamiliar place for her or I to stand on a stage next to each other and debate. Frankly if anyone wants to see our differences right now or lack thereof they can go to YouTube and bring up the video," Davis said.
The Republican primary election will be held March 18, 2014.
In her letter, Harold said that a primary could "energize voters by engaging them on the critical issues confronting our district and country. Let us commit to engaging voters of the 13th District and providing them with a series of informative and spirited debates."