Local GOP Candidates Back Out of Debates

Catching up on the local news, now that I'm back in Miami — complete with the standard ride-an-airplane-catch-a-cold. It seems that the local GOP congressional incumbents are trying to avoid debating their challengers: Miami-Dade Dems: Debate? Republicans run and hide.

Joe Garcia, challenging Mario Diaz-Balart for District 25, said in a statement Wednesday that his opponent had backed out of a commitment to debate.

“This is an act of political cowardice. If Mario Diaz-Balart had time to vote to underfund our schools, three times against children’s healthcare and against medical benefits for veterans, then he better make time to explain himself to the people of South Florida,” the statement said.

Of course, it's SOP in the incumbent playbook to avoid debating an opponent as much as possible for fear that they have more to gain. Normally the candidates do one or two set-pieces just before the election and that's it.

But I don't think that the regular playbook is going to apply to this abnormal year, especially in macho S. Florida — at least for the male candidates. How it will play in the 18th, where two women are in the race, I'm less clear.

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