Every reporter covering the PA-9 primary has asked the question, and each candidate has answered more times than he could possibly count. Now, a debate among the candidates in Pennsylvania’s 9th District will finally happen, not once, but four times before the May primary.
The topic was brought up as recently as earlier this month, when Republican candidate Travis Schooley said he was more than willing to debate with opponents, Tea Partier Art Halvorson and incumbent Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Briar).
Halvorson has made it a point several times in his campaign to call out Shuster for a face-to-face matchup. Shuster has now agreed, and the incumbent looks forward to “standing on his conservative record.”
“From the beginning of this race, I have said that I relish the opportunity to stand on the stage and talk about my conservative record and vision,” Shuster said. “Now that both Travis Schooley and Art Halvorson have made the ballot, it’s time that we give the people of Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania the ability to measure all of the candidates.”
Shuster will participate in four different events that showcase the three candidates. These will include a joint editorial board, two candidate debates, and one forum in front of the Tea Party. According to his campaign, these appearances represent the most comprehensive debate schedule in all of Shuster’s past races.
“The people of the 9th District deserve a full vetting of all the candidates, including hearing about my proven conservative leadership in Washington,” Shuster said. “I’m looking forward to talking about my efforts to stop Obamacare, end the out of control spending, and create jobs right here in Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
Halvorson released a statement regarding Shuster’s announced agreement, saying he was pleased that Shuster responded to the debate challenge.
“These debates are an opportunity for voters to see two different visions for the direction of America, and I look forward to showing them that I am the right choice on May 20th,” said Halvorson. “Like many Americans, I am troubled by the direction of our nation. True leadership is required so we can navigate the difficult waters ahead and create a better, safer America for our children and grandchildren. I would be honored to be a voice for my neighbors in this cause to rescue America.” He encouraged the voters of PA-9 to join the candidates at each event and listen to what each had to say.
Following is a list of the four joint appearances. More specific event details are still getting worked out and will be announced at a later date.
April 24: Indiana/Armstrong Patriots Event
May 2: Penn State Altoona Debate
May 13: Herald Standard Editorial Board
- May 14: Wilson College Debate