First District DFL Rep. Tim Walz's campaign recently issued an invitation to his GOP challengers Jim Hagedorn and Aaron Miller to participate in two debates. The first debate would be a candidate forum on Wednesday at Farmfest in Redwood Falls. Both Hagedorn and Miller have already said they plan to attend that forum. The second would be with whichever Republican wins the Aug. 12 primary and be in Rochester at a debate hosted by KAAL-TV and the League of Women Voters.
“Southern Minnesotans deserve to know where the candidates stand on the issues most important to the First District like taking care of our veterans, making investments in our infrastructure and growing our economy," said Deputy Campaign Manager Evan Peterson in a statement. "Congressman Walz looks forward to sharing his vision for southern Minnesota with the people of the First District — we hope our opponents agree to do the same."
Hagedorn accepted the Walz campaign's invitation and also asked the four-term DFL incumbent to agree to three debates across the district in the Rochester, Mankato and Worthington areas.
"I hope the Walz campaign will aceept my invitation to engage in thorough and meaningful debates," Hagedorn said in a statement.
Miller campaign spokesman Brad Biers called Walz's debate proposal "a joke," saying the Farmfest event is a candidate forum and not a debate. He said his campaign will work to reach an agreement with Walz on a debate schedule after the Aug. 12 primary is over.
It is worth noting that two years ago, Walz challenged Republican Allen Quist to three, 90-minute debates in addition to the Farmfest forum.