Home 2022 Elections Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04) Says He’s Normally “happy to do debates,” But...

Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04) Says He’s Normally “happy to do debates,” But Will NOT Do One With His Trumpist Opponent Who Refuses to Accept the Results of the 2020 Election

Every Democratic candidate, the media and non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters should have the same policy.

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Good stuff from Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04), regarding his Trumpist Republican opponent, Leon Benjamin, who among other things is running on “election integrity” (aka, the Big Lie), “parental choice” and fighting “tyrannical overreach” (whatever that means). As you can see, Benjamin requested two debates with Rep. McEachin, to which Rep. McEachin responded: a) that he “is happy to do debates and/or forums and has done them repeatedly in past campaigns, going back to his time as a state delegate and senator”; b) but that “Until you accept the results of the 2020 election, concede the 2020 congressional race and acknowledge President Biden’s victory, I will make no joint appearance with you.” That should be the stance of every Democratic candidate, by the way, as well as the media, who should simply refuse to acknowledge any legitimacy to candidates who promote Trump’s “Big Lie,” push to overturn our nation’s democracy, deny or minimize the 1/6/21 violent/pro-Trump insurrection, etc. It really should be the bare minimum for someone to be considered a serious candidate in the United States of America in the year 2022.

Congressman McEachin Responds to Opponent’s Call for Two Debates Planned by Campaigns

Richmond – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today sent a written response to a letter from Leon Benjamin, his Republican opponent, in which Mr. Benjamin requested two debates, one planned by his campaign and one planned by Mr. McEachin’s.

Congressman McEachin is happy to do debates and/or forums and has done them repeatedly in past campaigns, going back to his time as a state delegate and senator. As a matter of fact, he participated in a forum hosted by ChamberRVA with Mr. Benjamin in 2020.  However, he noted in his letter that Mr Benjamin has refused to accept the results of the 2020 election, neither acknowledging Congressman McEachin’s victory nor President Biden’s.

In the letter, Congressman McEachin said, “My victory – and the significant margin – are facts and facts are not fungible. Until you accept the results of the 2020 election, concede the 2020 congressional race and acknowledge President Biden’s victory, I will make no joint appearance with you. No objective or knowledgeable individual has ever questioned the 2020 congressional election in VA-04 nor has anyone alleged anything out of the ordinary in that race except you who has cited nothing to attest to your position.”

Congressman McEachin further stated, “Should you decide to review the uncontested facts and acknowledge my victory and President Biden’s victory I would be happy to engage in debates organized, as is the case in real trustworthy campaigns, by neutral respected institutions in our district.”

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Response letter to Leon Benjamin can be found below and attached to the email:

August 15, 2022

Bishop Leon Benjamin
7330 Staples Mill Road
Box 312
Richmond, VA 23228

Dear Bishop Benjamin,

I am in receipt of your letter of August 8. However, I cannot participate in any forum where facts are not the basis. You have refused to acknowledge either my victory in 2020 – and your defeat – or the victory of President Biden. I will note that I won by over 90,000 votes, a margin of almost 25%.

My victory – and the significant margin – are facts and facts are not fungible. Until you accept the results of the 2020 election, concede the 2020 congressional race and acknowledge President Biden’s victory, I will make no joint appearance with you. No objective or knowledgeable individual has ever questioned the 2020 congressional election in VA-04 nor has anyone alleged anything out of the ordinary in that race except you who has cited nothing to attest to your position. Reality is not simply what you want it to be.

As I am sure you know and understand, for our democracy to survive and thrive, we must trust facts and elections. I simply cannot and will not engage with someone who won’t accept the premise of our democracy – leaders chosen by elections – and, moreover, pretends absurd assertions are facts.

Should you decide to review the uncontested facts and acknowledge my victory and President Biden’s victory I would be happy to engage in debates organized, as is the case in real trustworthy campaigns, by neutral respected institutions in our district.

Sincerely,

A. Donald McEachin
Member of Congress

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