Seven time incumbent Mike Honda has formally rejected an invitation to debate Ro Khanna, his well financed opponent in the June primary, and Republican Vanila Singh, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Honda had previously said his schedule would not permit time for a debate, but has been under heavy pressure to change his mind.
Honda represents the 17th Congressional District of San Jose, the first majority Asian American district in the country.
“Residents of the 17th District will benefit from an open debate, moderated by members of the local media, about who is the best candidate to address the unique challenges and opportunities facing our community,” Khanna said. “Voters are tired of old-style politics and campaigns that consist of little more than sloganeering and demagoguery. With the challenges our nation faces today, the people deserve better.”
So far he is the only one to accept the invitation from the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED and KPIX TV.
A spokesperson for Singh said she was still considering the invitation.
Honda’s spokesperson said the Congressman will appear at a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters on May 3, but the League said the event is not meant to be a debate. Rather its a forum.