Ralph Norman, the Republican candidate for South Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District seat, said Tuesday that he will not participate in Friday’s debate hosted by the several branches of the NAACP.
When asked about the forum, and a separate forum to be held Monday by the South Carolina AARP, Norman told WFAE-FM Radio that he would not be a part of either. Democratic candidate Archie Parnell has committed to participate in both forums.
“No, sir, I will not,” Norman said. “Look, I’ve had seven debates. Mr. Parnell, I think, was at three of them. We’ve been on the stage with Democrats for many times. We’re so different that people know where we stand. I’ll be in Gaffney campaigning for the district. We’ve had this set for the last three weeks on my role and where I’ll be.”
The Rock Hill NAACP began sending out fliers last month promoting Friday’s debate at Rock Hill’s Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center on Saluda Street in Rock Hill. The event is sponsored by severeal NAACP branches within the district and the S.C. State Conference.
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In the flier, the group lists Norman, Parnell and Green Party candidate David Kulma as possible guests.
R.J. May, Norman’s campaign spokesperson, said Norman will share the stage with Parnell June 15 during a South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) debate. American Party candidate Josh Thornton says he will also be at the debate, which airs June 16.
“Ralph is touring the Fifth District every day, speaking with voters every day, and answering their concerns every day,” May said. “He’s proud of the record he’s running on. He’s been taking the message of a balanced budget and constitutional freedom across the District, and will continue to do so.”
Parnell’s campaign sent out a statement shortly after the WFAE interview, which featured both Parnell and Norman.
“My opponent voted against jobs, roads, public safety and flood relief for our farmers while he’s supported abolishing Social Security and Medicare,” Parnell said. “Now that voters are calling on him to answer for his record, he dodges their questions.”
Parnell said he also is committed to another forum hosted by the S.C. Farm Bureau June 15 in Camden.