Congressional candidates Pfaff, Van Orden still at odds over potential debate

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The candidates for Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District remain at odds over having a debate.

Earlier this month, Democrat Brad Pfaff challenged Republican Derrick Van Orden to three debates across the district. Van Orden told News 8 Now he would only attend town hall debates in which voters ask the questions.

Pfaff said he’s on board with a town hall-style debate. This week his campaign sent a letter to Van Orden’s campaign urging Van Orden to join him in three town hall-style debates.

Pfaff said Van Orden did not send a response to that letter.

Van Orden’s campaign said he was not available for an interview on Wednesday. Instead, Van Orden’s campaign sent out a press release saying he still wants a town hall-style debate but that Pfaff is manipulating the media and isn’t serious about allowing voters to ask questions.

Pfaff said Van Orden is chickening out of anything that isn’t a pre-scripted event.

“He is afraid to speak in an unscripted manner,” said Pfaff. “Everything about his campaign is pre-scripted… and the voters of this district can see through this… I just think it’s time to stand up.”

Pfaff reiterated he’s in favor of a town hall-style debate with a journalist moderator who would read off questions written by voters. Pfaff says a moderator would help keep the debate “orderly.”