After months of avoiding her primary candidate Tim Canova’s challenge to debate, former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed to do so Thursday before the Aug. 30 primary.
Wasserman Schultz was forced out of her DNC post after hacked internal emails showed party officials favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Sanders has endorsed Canova and helped him raise money against the then-powerful DNC chair.
Canova has been calling for debates since early April and even ran TV clips of Wasserman Schultz talking about the importance of debates, followed by clips of her evading the question of debating Canova when asked repeatedly by the press and her constituents.
She still leads her challenger by eight points in a poll released on Aug. 1. According to The Hill, Wasserman Schultz has a 52 percent favorability rating and a 35 percent unfavorability rating in her district.
“I was happy to hear news that Debbie Wasserman Schultz says that she will debate me. I will believe it when I see it,” Canova said in a statement. “Four months ago, I proposed a series of six debates to cover a wide range of issues. Wasserman Schultz has dodged debates for four months and she’s been dodging her own constituents for even longer.”
Canova explained, “I believe she owes the residents of Florida’s 23rd Congressional district an accounting for her record of absenteeism and inaction in Congress and the circumstances of her resigning in disgrace from the Democratic National Committee. While I welcome this news, I have always maintained that there must be a series of debates to discuss the range of issues of importance to South Florida, including the economy, campaign finance and political reform, immigration, criminal justice reform and the war on drugs, environmental issues, and foreign policy and national security.”