Static: Wednesday, August 25, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
One Voice Debating

“Why wouldn’t we come to Burleson?” asked Scott Pool, campaign manager for Arlene Wohlgemuth, the Republicans’ choice to oust Democratic U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards from the 17th District seat he’s held for 13 years. “It’s her hometown; it’s her base.” Indeed, Wohlgemuth has been the state rep for the little ’burb since 1994. But on Aug. 17, Arlene set the town abuzz when she didn’t show up at the Burleson High School cafeteria for what had been touted as the first of the Great Debates with Edwards, a series to be held in each county in the newly redrawn district that now sprawls from Burleson to College Station.

Edwards did show, along with a roomful of 150 Burleson folk, all looking for a lively exchange between the moderate/conservative Edwards and the right-wing conservative Wohlgemuth. But Edwards had the crowd to himself — and made hay, pounding Wohlgemuth for 90 minutes for everything from the snub of her constituents that night to her “heartless” bill in the last state legislative session that knocked 149,000 poor children off health insurance rolls.

That’s just more dirty tricks from the “liberal” Democrat, Pool said: “Yeah, we agreed to debate in Burleson on Aug. 17, but that all changed.” He said the two campaigns had agreed to cancel the Burleson debate in favor of one on Sept. 19 in Cleburne.

Not true, said Edwards’ campaign press secretary, Selena Shilad. “We set the date of the Burleson debate back in July, and we were never notified that they wanted to cancel.”

The debate over the debate roils on. “We’re coming to Burleson, we’re going to meet Edwards there, you can count on it,” Pool said. When? To be decided.


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