The Roberts Campaign responded:
Republican gubernatorial candidate State Representative Rod Roberts has invited his fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates to take part in two debates in rural Iowa prior to the June 8 primary election. Roberts proposes to hold a debate in his hometown of Carroll as well as an eastern Iowa town with a population of 15,000 or less, as chosen by the campaigns.
“We cannot forget rural Iowa in the 2010 elections. By holding debates in smaller Iowa communities, the Republican gubernatorial candidates can send a message to rural Iowans that we are concerned about the issues that matter to them,” said Roberts, an Assistant Minority Leader in the Iowa House. “Iowa’s smaller communities face unique challenges, including affording educational opportunities to young people, maintaining a vibrant agricultural economy, and encouraging population growth. Folks living in rural Iowa deserve to know how the candidates compare on these issues.”
Roberts’s invitation comes after he was invited last week by fellow candidate Bob Vander Plaats to participate in four debates with Terry Branstad. The invitation proposed a debate in Des Moines, which is where Branstad lives, Sioux City, which is where Vander Plaats lives, Dubuque, and one city yet to be agreed upon by the candidates. Roberts’s additional two debates could bring the total number of debates prior to the June 8 primary election to six. Roberts says he intends to work with the media to ensure the debates are televised.
“All Iowans need to know where the Republican gubernatorial candidates stand on the issues. Since the vast majority of Iowans live in rural Iowa, we need to be holding debates there, too,” said Roberts, a five-term state representative. “I was raised in rural Iowa and still live there. Rural Iowans and the issues that matter to them are important to me and the Roberts for Governor Campaign. I hope my fellow candidates feel the same way.”