It was reported by KOB 4 that incumbent Democrat Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-03) is refusing to debate her Republican challenger, Michelle Garcia Holmes, on the network, despite the KOB 4 asking multiple times for Haaland to appear at the televised event.
KOB 4 writes, “A debate between the NM 1st Congressional candidates, Incumbent Democrat Rep. Deb Haaland and Republican Challenger Michelle Garcia Holmes, will not happen. Garcia Holmes agreed to a proposed debate, however Rep. Haaland did not despite repeated efforts by KOB 4 to work with her campaign.”
Garcia Holmes responded to Haaland’s apparent fright to debate by writing on her Facebook page, “The voters deserve answers, especially from incumbents, Haaland is no longer ‘fierce’ and has become, “Debate Dodging Deb”, as she refuses KOB’s invitation to debate. Call her congressional office and ask her why…. (505)346-6781”
Garcia Holmes is referring to Haaland’s repeated social media posts and campaign slogans telling people to “be fierce” and trying to brand herself as “fierce.” However, by chickening out of a televised debate, which is objectively probably the least a person running for Congress is expected to do, it appears she is following Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s lead and forgoing such a public display of her record.
Ben Ray Luján only accepted one televised debate on KRQE 7 News and a softball forum on the left-wing PBS affiliate, KNME. He declined both the KOB 4 and KRQE 13 debates. KOB 4 plans to still hold the debate with Mark Ronchetti, Luján’s Republican opponent, as well as a Libertarian candidate while leaving an empty chair for Luján if he wants to join in.