Landes declines debate invite

Citing issues with fairness, Steve Landes is backing out of a debate invitation from the News Leader and WHSV-TV3 with 25th District challenger Greg Marrow.

“I’ve expressed my concerns of the editorial board – not being fair and balanced – moderating a debate between my opponent and me,” Landes told the News Leader on Thursday.

(Story link –

Marrow and Landes have already had one joint newspaper-TV station debate. The candidates met on Sept. 24 for a debate sponsored by the News Virginian and NBC29.

“Steve Landes is once again dodging the real issues by shying away from a televised debate. What is Landes afraid of?” Marrow told the AFP in an e-mail message Friday morning.

The Sept. 24 debate – on friendly turf for Landes, with conservative NV editor Lee Wolverton as moderator – didn’t go well for Landes. Wolverton played the debate straight up and grilled Landes on comments at an August Republican Party event comparing the Obama administration to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and on manufacturing job losses.

The debate ended with an awkward, apparently rehearsed move by Landes interrupting a Marrow answer by handing him a red folder with a Landes campaign sticker to draw attention to his legislative record.

It’s more likely that Landes simply doesn’t want to have to go through more rounds of tough questioning and is using the idea that the Leader is somehow not “fair and balanced” as an attempt at providing cover for the decision.

“It’s obvious that Steve Landes doesn’t want voters to know about his poor record as a delegate and his lack of leadership,” Marrow said in his statement this morning. “My campaign is more than willing to accommodate Landes’ campaign because I am confident in my message and the importance of voters being able to hear both sides.”


– Story by Chris Graham


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