Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis will appear on a televised forum Tuesday night sponsored by the Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer and Time Warner Cable News.
The event was planned months ago as a debate. Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan declined an invitation. No other candidate met the required threshold of support as measured in polls.
Hagan said she agreed to participate in only three debates. The third took place Oct. 9 in Wilmington with Hagan, Tillis and Libertarian Sean Haugh.
Tillis’ campaign is accusing Hagan of ducking the event. “In 2008, Hagan complained that her incumbent opponent wasn’t willing to participate in debates,” said spokesman Daniel Keylin. “Will Sen. Hagan’s chair really be empty during Tuesday night’s big debate?”
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Hagan has said she never agreed to a fourth debate.
“Speaker Tillis is also irrationally trying to say that Kay is dodging the public,” spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said Monday. “He will no doubt try to make that claim again on Tuesday when Time Warner Cable proceeds with a one-candidate ‘debate’ with Speaker Tillis – despite the fact that back in July our campaign publicly outlined a three debate schedule for the fall that mirrored the standard set of debates in every recent statewide North Carolina election.”
The forum will air at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable News.