CORRECTION: We originally listed Jan. 8 as the date of the second proposed debate. The true date is Jan. 5. We have changed the article to reflect the proper information.
Residents of Senate District 21 who wish to ask questions to the two men running for the right to represent them in Atlanta will be denied this opportunity, as it has been announced that no debate will be held between the two candidates ahead of the Jan. 8, 2013 special election.
Michael Fitzgerald, chairman of the Georgia GOP's Sixth Congressional District, wrote an e-mail to candidates Brandon Beach and Rep. Sean Jerguson informing them that no debate could be held due to, "inordinate delays in commitments, dates and decisions to participate."
In his e-mail to the candidates, Fitzgerald stressed that there should be a balance between demands on candidates' times and the public's right to learn more about the people who will represent them and be paid with public funds.
"Those seeking office should recognize and acknowledge this, and present a willingness to take clear and hard positions on controversial issues in a public forum," Fitzgerald wrote.
Fitzgerald told Patch that initially, a debate had been proposed for Jan. 3 and Jerguson had committed to appearing. However, Beach never responded to "multiple inquiries" regarding this date. Fitzgerald said that after 10 days, Beach asked the debate be moved to Jan. 5, but Jerguson never confirmed the new date.
"By far and away, the biggest losers are the constituents of Senate District 21," Fitzgerald wrote in the conclusion of his letter.
The two men are vying for the Senate seat that was abruptly vacated by Chip Rogers earlier this month to take a job with Georgia Public Broadcasting. Jerguson had to resign from the State House of Representatives to run for the state Senate seat.