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State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak and Cumberland County Republican Chairman Michael Testa continued their spat over debates Thursday.
“At no point have me or my team turned down a real debate,” Testa added. “Why in the world would we do that? There is a reason the other side is hiding. They know an actual debate between our team and theirs would expose them to questions they simply cannot answer. They would prefer to hide behind racist mailers and ridiculous lies funded by their political bosses in Camden. It’s the only chance they have to win.”
Earlier Thursday, Andrzejczak’s campaign said Testa declined an offer to appear at a debate moderated by the League of Women Voters and accused the Republican challenger of playing politics by repeatedly challenging the senator to a debate moderated by conservative radio host Harry Hurley.
“The facts at hand are indisputable: The League of Women Voters reached out to both campaigns to propose a debate, which Mike Testa rejected because he didn’t like the format. Debate offer made, debate not accepted,” Andrzejczak campaign spokesman Mickey Quinn said. “It’s surprising that Temper Tantrum Testa would quickly live up to his nickname and throw a hissy fit when he was called out for taking his toys and going home. This is coming from the guy who will debate any time and any place?”
In a statement provided by Testa’s campaign, Cape May County Republican Chairman Marcus Karavan said his county party was actively working to schedule a debate with the League of Women Voters, The Press of Atlantic and Stockton University.
The League of Women Voters did not immediately respond to a request for comment first made at 1:47 p.m.
Despite their jabs on their respective opponents’ reluctance to debate over the past two days, both candidates indicated willingness to meet on the debate stage, though not without parting shots.
“Bob Andrzejczak has done everything possible to avoid debating for months because he can’t defend his record of cutting funding to Cape May County Schools, while voting to spend money funding illegal immigrant college tuition,” Testa said. “My running mates, Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan, and me, are thrilled to join Team Andrzejczak on the debate stage and look forward to multiple opportunities for South Jersey to hear the candidates debate.”
Andrzejczak took the opportunity to launch shots at Testa’s running mates.
“We are also glad to hear that Testa’s running mates are willing to join him in a six-way debate. We look forward to the reactions in the room when the audience finds out that Erik Simonsen voted to raise his own taxpayer funded salary twice in Lower Township and deadbeat Antwan McClellan has had $12,000 in judgments filed against him for unpaid debts,” Quinn said. “He’s even being sued for not finishing a fence he was contracted to build. While Mike Testa goes around ranting about building a wall, his own running mate can’t even build a fence.”