The Indiana Debate Commission’s says Congressman Todd Rokita (R-4), who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), is the first candidate in its 10-year history to turn down a spot in a statewide, televised debate. The April 30th debate will feature Republican candidates Mike Braun, a former Indiana State Representative and chief executive officer of Jasper-based Meyer Distributing Inc., and Congressman Luke Messer (R-6).
The commission says Rokita’s campaign declined the invitation due to a scheduling conflict and added that Rokita will only take part in debates "organized and moderated by conservative Republicans." Rokita says he will participate in an April 23rd Senate debate organized by the Allen County GOP that will be moderated by Pat Miller of WOWO in Fort Wayne.
IDC President Gerry Lanosga says "we are very pleased that two candidates have agreed to this debate, but we are equally disappointed that one has opted to decline. A contested primary should be heavily vetted by Hoosier voters and not by partisans, party officials or special interest groups. A neutral option, such as one offered by the Indiana Debate Commission, makes the most sense."
The moderator of the IDC debate will be indypolitics.org Publisher Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. You can connect to more about the debate and submit questions that will be considered for the debate at the commission’s website.