From the Dr. Cameron Webb for Congress (VA05) campaign:
Dr. Cameron Webb Calls for Fair and Accessible Debates
Charlottesville, VA — Today, the campaign of Dr. Cameron Webb, Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 5th Congressional district, called for additional fair and accessible debates to ensure voters in the 5th district have the information they need ahead of November 3rd.
Throughout the campaign, Dr. Webb has sought every opportunity to engage with voters and have thoughtful conversations about the issues that matter most. The Webb campaign only had two criteria for participating in a debate: that it be fair to both candidates and be accessible for voters across the district. Unfortunately, the only debate Mr. Good has agreed to since the Senior Statesmen Forum has been one at Liberty University, which does not meet either of these basic standards.
Ensuring a Fair Debate:
While Dr. Webb has agreed to participate in numerous debate opportunities since the Senior Statesmen Forum, Mr. Good has only accepted one offer — at Liberty University where he worked for over 15 years. While the selected moderator, Mark Spain, is a trusted and impartial source, the advantage of having questions submitted largely from Mr. Good’s community is evident. In spite of the home-field advantage for Mr. Good, the Webb campaign was still open to doing a debate at Liberty, but on the condition that another debate be held either at UVA — given Dr. Webb’s comparable connections at UVA and their historic role in hosting debates for VA-05 — or at an impartial site in VA-05. That proposal was ignored.
Ensuring Access for VA-05 Voters:
With only 27 days left before the election, debates can and should be a great way for voters to hear directly from the candidates on the most important issues. The proposed Liberty debate fails to do so for two key reasons: Liberty University is not located in VA-05 and the debate would not be televised.
Given that there are more than five community colleges and four colleges/universities in VA-05, a debate can and should be held within our district. Our campaign’s proposal to address this by having two debates, with at least one in VA-05, was ignored. Lastly, the Webb campaign called for the debate to be televised to ensure access for voters across the district. This condition was also not met.
The Webb campaign actively sought to make a debate at Liberty University happen in spite of these challenges, sending an email on September 20th with the conditions listed above to ensure fairness and accessibility. The organizers did not respond to those conditions until yesterday, October 6th, only a week ahead of the proposed debate. Their response did not address the campaign’s concerns nor leave sufficient time ahead of October 14th to make the fundamental changes necessary for a fair and accessible debate.
Dr. Webb has actively sought opportunities to engage with voters throughout the campaign. Dr. Webb consistently engages with reporters and commentators from across the political spectrum and he agreed to a debate with CBS19 and PVCC and numerous other debate inquiries which Mr. Good rejected or ignored. Dr. Webb’s position remains the same today as it has throughout the campaign. We hope that Mr. Good’s campaign will agree to a debate that meets sensible terms and ensures a level of fairness and accessibility which the voters of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District deserve.