Suskie challenges McDaniel to debate (UPDATE) | Arkansas Blog

Suskie challenges McDaniel to debate (UPDATE)

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Democratic attorney general candidate Paul Suskie today challenged his opponent Dustin McDaniel to a debate in advance of the June 13 primary runoff election.

“I’m asking Mr. McDaniel to join me in publicly debating our relevant experience and the clear policy differences between us,” Suskie said in a press release. “Voters deserve to hear about our backgrounds, accomplishments and plans for the office. I would welcome the opportunity for a side-by-side comparison before the June 13 runoff.”

Read the full press release after the jump.

UPDATE: McDaniel responds:

"We have participated in several candidate forums and one formal debate already.  I have enjoyed every opportunity to discuss our records, our credentials and our visions for serving the people of Arkansas. With only 13 days left until the run off, and early voting already under way, I would still be happy to participate in another debate if it is televised live statewide.  No one from his campaign has called me or my staff to discuss times, dates, or formats.  I only learned of this challenge when the press called to ask about his press release.  If his campaign is serious about setting up another debate, a phone call would be more effective than a press release."

FULL PRESS RELEASE:

Suskie Calls for Attorney General Candidate Debate
Says Experiences Should Be Discussed

Attorney General Candidate Paul Suskie today called for a debate with his Democrat Primary opponent Dustin McDaniel.

“I’m asking Mr. McDaniel to join me in publicly debating our relevant experience and the clear policy differences between us,” Suskie said. “Voters deserve to hear about our backgrounds, accomplishments and plans for the office. I would welcome the opportunity for a side-by-side comparison before the June 13 runoff.”

Suskie said that he is the candidate with the best experience to be the next Attorney General. He previously worked in the Attorney General’s office. As North Little Rock City Attorney, Suskie has acted as prosecutor, protected consumers, and has performed duties similar to the Attorney General on a municipal level. He has also argued on behalf of the state before the Supreme Court and won.

“As Attorney General, I will put my experience to work for the people of Arkansas,” said Suskie. “I will take my award-winning S.A.F.E. program statewide and help cities shut down drug houses and make neighborhoods livable again. I will fight the politicians on the Louisiana PSC to stop their $2 billion utility rate-shifting scheme. I will also push for transparency for corporate drug middlemen to ensure consumers know exactly the deal they are getting and to maintain a level playing field for local pharmacists.”

Dustin McDaniel told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in the May 26 edition that he believed he also had “legitimate experience” to be Attorney General.

“I’d certainly like the two of us to stand together and talk about the differences in our experience,” Suskie said. “I’d be happy to hold up my achievements as a city attorney and how I can build on those accomplishments in the Attorney General’s office. There’s a difference between talking up big ideas and actually having achieved measurable results.”

Suskie said the debate could be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time and place and moderated by an independent third party.

Suskie has served in the North Little Rock City Attorney’s office since 1996. In June 2005, he returned from a six-month activation with the U.S. Army for a tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He and his wife Erica have two children.

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