Fleishmann not debating Democratic opponent

Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s senior adviser, Brian O’Shaughnessy, tells the Chattanooga TFP that said the incumbent has not committed to any forums or debates with his Democratic challenger, Mary Headrick, since they shared the stage at a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga forum in July.

One forum was enough, he suggested.

“We were able to hear some of [Headrick’s] positions on different issues at an earlier forum at UTC. It was pretty, ‘It’s their big government versus our small government.’ I don’t think it’s going to be really necessary,” he said.
…O’Shaughnessy said official duties have kept Fleischmann from the campaign trail, but he would be in the district as soon as time allowed.

“With respect to any debates going forward, right now, Chuck is really focused on the ISIS issue as is the rest of the legislature, and he’s kind of out of the campaign trail,” O’Shaunghnessy said.

Headrick said she’s thrown the gauntlet, and if Fleischmann doesn’t pick it up, it will be his own decision. She will attend a forum today in Oak Ridge, along with independent candidate Cassandra Mitchell, but Fleischmann will not be there.

“I will make time anywhere [for a debate]. If it doesn’t happen, it’s Fleischmann’s avoidance,” she said.

Headrick says Fleischmann’s silence will not help him, because the district isn’t as red as some believe.

She said the 3rd District’s middle class is shrinking because of Fleischmann’s politics. She’s campaigning to raise the federal minimum wage, close tax loopholes for the wealthy and improve health care for Americans.