U.S. Senate candidate Rodney Glassman on Monday will begin a tour of all 15 counties in the state to meet with residents and highlight key projects that John McCain has ignored because he has been preoccupied with this own political ambitions.
To kick off what has been officially dubbed the "Turn the Page Express" tour, Glassman, during a news conference Friday, also challenged McCain to debate him along the way in each county so voters will have a chance to truly assess the clear choice between the candidates.
During a televised debate on Sept. 26, Glassman first threw down the debate gauntlet but McCain did not respond to the challenge.
On Friday, Glassman noted that McCain debated opponents 17 times during the presidential primary in 2008 and proposed 10 more debates for the general election.
"This year, while asking Arizona for another six years he has refused to debate me one on one," Glassman said.
The tour will kick off in Tucson on Monday, where Glassman will speak at several events, including a Young Democrats rally at noon on the University of Arizona mall. On Tuesday Glassman will travel to Nogales to talk about the need for the federal government to rebuild the Chula Vista bridge, a project McCain has not seen fit to champion.
"We need to get Arizona moving again, and not with sound bites about "pork-barrel' spending that only accounts for one to two percent of the federal budget," Glassman said. "What McCain calls "pork" is actually your tax dollars coming home."
During the course of his travels, Glassman will hold events in more than 50 cities and towns, sometimes talking about long-ignored infrastructure projects that could put Arizonans back to work, and in all places meeting residents and emphasizing why it is time to turn the page with new leadership.
"Today I issue this challenge to John McCain: Join me on this tour, or meet me in Nogales or Kingman, Yuma or Holbrook, and I will gladly debate the issues of the 21st century with you," Glassman said. " Come back to the places you haven't visited in years. Talk to the people of your state. Defend your record."