Campbell challenges Rep. Siegrist to public debate

Will there be a public debate in the District 26 State Representative race? Right now, it doesn't look promising.

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 5:53 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 6:33 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Some say debates are the best way to get to know a candidate. Democrat Chris Campbell hopes she'll get the chance to debate her opponent this fall.

She's facing incumbent Republican State Representative Sally Siegrist.

While meeting potential voters, Chris Campbell often gets the same questions.

"When a debate will be? If one is being scheduled?" said Campbell. "And when I tell them that my opponent has refused to debate me they're very disappointed and surprised that she's not willing to debate me."

Incumbent Republican State Representative Sally Siegrist didn't want to go on camera. However, she said she's not refusing to debate Campbell.

Siegrist said she hasn't been able to find time in her schedule and she can't take time off from her legislative duties or serving her constituents, which makes her free-time limited.

The League of Women Voters has been working with her for weeks to try to set up a date. We're told she refused any days in October and denied six proposed days in September.

"I would like the opportunity to debate my opponent," said Campbell. "I would like the voters to have a chance to ask us questions."

News 18 also offered to host a District 26 debate. Siegrist said she doesn't want to do one on weekends and said October is out of the question. We asked her to let us know if any weekdays in September would work. We're waiting to hear back.

"We need to make ourselves available, it's only an hour," said Campbell. 

Incumbents refusing or not finding time to debate is something former Indy Star Political Reporter Mary Beth Schneider said is common.

"They don't want to get asked those questions, they don't want to put their opponent on an equal footing," said Schneider. 

However, it frustrates her as a former journalist and current voter.

"People deserve to hear what each of these candidates stand for and get asked sometimes some difficult questions," said Schneider. 

Campbell sent out a statement calling on Siegrist to agree to a debate.

In it, she called state representative a full-time job. According to the Indiana Constitution, it's part-time. However, Campbell doesn't see it that way.

"A voter is going to meet us on the street. Are we going to say we are not available right now I'm not on the clock? No," said Campbell. "So, it is a bit of a full-time job whether the constitution says it's a full-time job or not, I think we need to be available."

Campbell and Siegrist weren't the only candidates who couldn't agree on a debate time this season.

The League of Women Voters also reached out to candidates for State Senate District 22 and Indiana's 4th Congressional District. Both were unable or unwilling to debate.

However, we are likely to see a debate between the Tippecanoe County Sheriff candidates and those running for Tippecanoe County Clerk.

Details on those will be released soon.

West Lafayette
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 74°
Kokomo
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events