Today, Jim Renacci sent the following letter to Congresswoman Betty Sutton, regarding congressional debates in the 16th district:
Over the course of the past several months, I've made clear my intent to ensure this race remains one of substance and free from the baseless personal attacks that have plagued so many other campaigns in recent years. Voters across the district, along with numerous local media outlets, have also voiced their strong desire to see a congressional campaign in this district limited strictly to matters of policy. At a time when our economy remains in tatters and millions continue to struggle to make ends meet, the need to provide voters with the a campaign focused on the issues and challenges Americans face each day has never been more clear.
As part of my commitment to deliver the type of campaign voters are demanding and deserve, several weeks ago I agreed to participate in a debate series consisting of a debate hosted by the City Club in Cleveland, and another by the Wooster Chamber of Commerce in Wayne County. While I strongly believe that the 16th district congressional debates ought to take place within the district itself, I agreed to participate in the City Club debate due to its proximity to the district's largest media market. They Wooster Chamber debate was also a logical choice given that it has become a fixture of the district in recent years, hosting widely attended and well respected non-partisan congressional debates in 2008 and 2010. My predecessor, Democratic Congressman John Boccieri, participated in that debate in back-to-back elections, which has come to play an important role for voters in the district. I was both surprised and disappointed to learn that you had declined to participate in this debate and I join the voters in hoping you will reconsider.
Having said that, what's most important is that we put the needs of the district before politics and that we come to a speedy resolution on the apparent stalemate over debates. Therefore I am requesting that either you join me in the coming days in a face-to-face meeting to work out an agreement, or our campaign managers do so. While we may disagree strongly over the best course for our nation's future, I am confident we can come to an agreement on a matter of this nature that is satisfactory to us both. Please let me know if you agree to this meeting and we can then work out the details.