Carol Blood calls on Jim Pillen to ‘step up to the plate’ after he refuses to debate

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Less than three months before the general election, the two Nebraska governor candidates have yet to debate each another.

And there is a chance they never will.

NU Regent Jim Pillen, the Republican nominee, refused a debate offer from NTV, according to the Nebraska Examiner.

See also: Jim Pillen wins GOP primary for Nebraska governor

Pillen’s campaign team told the Examiner that he would not be participating in any debates.

This came after the confirmation that the Nebraska State Fair would not be hosting a governor’s debate this year.

Pillen also declined to debate before the primary election in May.

In a press release on Wednesday, State Sen. Carol Blood’s campaign called on Pillen to “step up to the plate and do his job as a candidate for a statewide office.”

Blood, the Democratic nominee, said she has always been willing to debate whenever her schedule allowed.

“It’s unconscionable that any candidate would refuse interviews, forums and debates to disallow the public to not only learn more about who they are and what they stand for, but also if they can think on their feet without an entourage coaching,” Blood said.  “Frankly, if Pillen’s handlers are so sure he is going to win, what does he have to lose by looking like he doesn’t know the issues such as what happened in past debates where he said Nebraska’s infrastructure is fine as is or responding with the same answer over and over, again at press conferences to avoid answers as what happened when endorsed by County Attorney Don Kleine?”

The Pillen campaign’s statement on his refusal to debate was, “Jim is a livestock producer, not a politician, and he doesn’t do political theatre.”

Blood said, “If we can’t be transparent in an organic space where the public can see how well we can think on our feet and what our answers may be without political rhetoric and party speaking points, why run for office?”

If Pillen were to win, he would be the first governor since at least the 1970s to be elected without facing their opponent, the Nebraska Examiner reports.

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