LUBBOCK, TX -- Monday night, the Republican candidates in the race for the District 19 congressional seat squared off in a town hall debate. All, but the man running to keep his seat, incumbent Randy Neugebauer. Neugebauer sent his district director in his place instead. But, during the debate portion, that proxy didn't answer a single question.
The debate's questions ranged from the debt ceiling, to foreign policy, and even to the idea of decriminalizing marijuana in Texas, a topic both candidates skirted around, more than answered.
But the other two candidates, Chris Winn and Dr. Donald May, both were very clear when they said that Neugebauer owed his constiuents a proper debate.
"I'll outright state that Chris Winn and I are willing to debate him, anytime this week," says May. "He can pick the place, he can pick the venue, and we can sit down and debate because you, the news media, deserve that to be able to get the three of us together."
"It is an obfuscation of his duty," says Winn.
Neugebauer's public agenda for the week shows he's busy with events in Abilene and Breckenridge, Tx. But despite his absence, it's likely Neugebauer still has the upper hand in this race
"Despite his absence, I still think he's a popular congressman, for this region," according to Lubbock County Republican Party chairman Carl Tepper. "It's probably going to take a little more, a little more money from challengers, to unseat such a powerful incumbent."
Tepper also said it's not likely Neugebauer will engage in any debate with Winn and May between now and the election. The primary will be held March 4th.