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Democratic challenger's request for a debate again go unanswered by incumbent Latta


The Perrysburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a candidate forum Wednesday at the Carranor Hunt & Polo Club in Perrysburg.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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Democrat Angela Zimmann, a candidate for Ohio’s 5th Congressional District, challenged her incumbent opponent to a debate during a candidate forum Wednesday.

But her invitation, made during her closing statement, went unanswered by U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) during his closing remarks.3

Photo gallery: 5th Congressional District candidate forum

Ms. Zimmann of Springfield Township and Mr. Latta were among a dozen candidates attending the event, presented by the Perrysburg Area Chamber of Commerce at the Carranor Hunt & Polo Club, 502 East Second St.

Ms. Zimmann said she has asked Mr. Latta numerous times if he would debate her and has not gotten a response. She said she sent him a certified letter asking for a debate and it has gone unanswered, and that’s why she brought the issue up during the forum.

“I think he’s being unpatriotic by not agreeing to debate me,” Ms. Zimmann said. “The voters deserve a debate. I’m ready to do it anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Let’s talk about the issues.”

Laura Strange, a spokesman for Mr. Latta, said the congressman didn’t wish to debate because he is “focused on the issues and focused on staying positive.” He has attended eight candidates’ forums across the district and met with hundreds of constituents, Ms. Strange said.

Ms. Zimmann challenged Mr. Latta on several points during the forum.

After Mr. Latta maintained the Obama Administration was doing a disservice to future generations by adding to the national deficit, Ms. Zimmann asked Mr. Latta to explain his own vote for a budget bill that added $8 trillion to the federal deficit over the next two decades.

Mr. Latta said the budget he supported is one that will start to get the country back on track.

“The United States, we’re looking at a $16 trillion debt,” Mr. Latta said. “We’ve worked out a budget that starts to get us back on par. We have to draw a line in the sand and start paying this down. We have to pay off our foreign creditors of $5.3 trillion.”

Also attending the forum were candidates for two Wood County commissioners’ seats, Republicans Jim Carter and Doris Herringshaw, and Democrat Joel Kuhlman; for state House of Representatives District 3, Tim Brown (R), Nathan Eberly (Libertarian), and Kelly Wicks (D); and for state Senate District 2, Randy Gardner (R).

Earlier in the day, Ms. Zimmann was joined by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) at the Lucas County Early Voting Center at Summit Plaza, 1500 N. Superior St. The two urged women to exercise their right to vote.

Ms. Zimmann said GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s ideas about women are stuck in the 1950s.

“It would be devastating to women if he won,” Ms. Zimmann said. “The choice for women could not be more clear.”

Ms. Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairman, headed to Dayton to Host “Women Decide 2012,” an early vote event, after her Toledo visit.

Contact Tanya Irwin at:, or 419-724-6066.

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