JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - WLBT, in partnership with the Clarion Ledger, offered Senate candidates Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mike Espy and Chris McDaniel the opportunity to participate in a debate to discuss the issues that are important to Mississippians.
Unfortunately, Senator Hyde Smith declined the offer, which led to Mike Espy’s refusal to participate. Chris McDaniel, who is trailing in the polls behind the top two candidates, said he would participate.
Not only was the one-hour debate scheduled to appear in primetime on WLBT, we also secured live carriage on TV stations across the state. Unfortunately, Mississippi voters won’t have the opportunity to hear from the candidates in an open, candid, real environment. Instead, we will only hear answers to safe questions in pre-planned, staged events with no challenges to their canned answers or interaction between them.
The purpose of a debate is to give you more information, so you can decide who you want to support come November 6th. WLBT will continue to push to provide a platform for you to hear from the candidates so you can have a better idea of their position on important issues.
There will most likely be a runoff after the general election and if that happens we are prepared to air a debate on WLBT. To whoever makes the runoff, consider this an official invitation. Hopefully, the candidates will do the right thing, drop the lame excuses and debate each other, and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision on who will best represent Mississippi.