Republican Marvin Rogers said the community is waiting for a public debate between Rogers and his House District 49 opponent, Democrat John King.
But the candidates have yet to face off because King has failed to attend three scheduled debates, Rogers said.
"If John King is too busy to publicly debate the issues of the wonderful citizens of District 49 to allow them to draw contrasts between us, he is too busy to properly represent them in Columbia," he said.
King said he has agreed to debate Rogers and that he had e-mailed Rogers last week, suggesting the two debate on Rock Hill radio station WRHI-AM on Thursday. King said it's not that he doesn't want to debate Rogers; he has just been busy campaigning.
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"My focus is getting out and knocking on doors and letting people know who John King is," he said.
Rogers said he doesn't want to debate King on the radio. "The format the community wants is to see us side by side, face to face, so they can look at both of us," Rogers said.
King said he missed the first two debates because of family emergencies and could not attend Tuesday's debate because he already had scheduled a public meeting to discuss his educational views.
Despite not debating in public, both candidates agree the district's top issues are education, jobs and payday lending. But while both candidates want to address payday lending, they differ on the tactics to deal with it.
"I was the first person running in this area that said we need to eliminate payday lending," King said.
King said payday lenders prey on the less fortunate. He supports banning the industry statewide.
Rogers said payday lending can be helpful to some people, especially those with low credit scores, whose financial needs cannot be met by a traditional bank. He said he supports regulating the industry, instead of banning it.
"These people have nowhere else to turn when they can't pay their light bill," he said.
Rogers and King are running for the District 49 House seat vacated by retiring Bessie Moody-Lawrence. Two years ago, King lost by nine votes to the longtime incumbent.
District 49 covers southern York County, including parts of Rock Hill and York. State House members serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $10,400.
Meet the S.C. House District 49 candidates
• Party: Democrat
• Age: 32; born June 25, 1976
• Education: Chester Senior High School; bachelor's degree in sociology and criminal justice from Morehouse College, Atlanta; associate of science degree in funeral service from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Decatur, Ga.; and master's degree in education from Strayer University, Charlotte
• Work: Owner of King Funeral Home, Rock Hill, and Christopher King Funeral Home, Chester.
• Family: Single
• Political experience: Chester City Council, Chester County Council.
• Party: Republican
• Age: 32; born March 1, 1976
• Education: Bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies-Spanish and political science, from University of South Carolina Upstate; diploma of practical ministry from Amistad School of Ministry, Veracruz, Mexico
• Work: Independent consultant, bilingual communications, English and Spanish
• Family: Single
• Political experience: Aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis