Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf confronted U.S. Senator Pat Roberts as he campaigned in downtown Emporia.
Wolf approached the incumbent Senator outside on a sidewalk, as Roberts was making a scheduled stop, and challenged him to debate. Roberts declined to debate, saying “no, this is not the time”. A Roberts staffer said “this is not the time or place”, and another called it “a desperate stunt by a desperate candidate”.
Their brief meeting Wednesday took place at an intersection as Roberts walked from business to business to talk with merchants. The two are squaring off in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Wolf told Roberts he wanted the senator to keep his promise to debate him. Roberts says he has no plans to debate Wolf.
Wolf has been pressing Roberts to debate ahead of the primary on Tuesday.
Roberts executive campaign manager Leroy Towns previously said that Wolf has failed to outline positions beyond what Towns called vague rhetoric and false attacks on the senator.
Wolf campaign spokesman Ben Hartman said it’s unbecoming for Roberts to duck debates and noted that Roberts previously had promised publicly to have them.
The 78-year-old Roberts is seeking his fourth, six-year term in the Senate. Wolf is a 43-year-old radiologist making his first run for public office.
Two lesser-known candidates also are on the GOP ballot. Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor and Lawrence attorney Patrick Wiesner are seeking the Democratic nomination.
Video from: WIBW Radio / WIBW Newsnow.com