By Ed Martin, Editor
Rep. Valadao, please come to Lemoore and debate your opponent

Congressman David Valadao should do his constituents a favor and accept his opponent’s compromise offer of a debate in Lemoore. His Democratic challenger, TJ Cox, has challenged the 21st Congressional District incumbent to at least a pair of forums – one of them hopefully in Lemoore.

The public deserves – and demands – the right to hear their candidates debate the region’s issues in a public forum, preferably broadcast on television.

According to Cox, he’ll accept Valadao’s closed-door studio debate if he agrees to an open, public form televised live by KMPH Fox 26, preferably at West Hills College Lemoore.

Our congressman seems to have an aversion to public forums. He hasn’t held one in years. Instead, his last foray into the public realm occurred last year when he hosted something he referred to as his “Hometown Huddle,” where his constituents waited patiently in a line for a meager 10 minutes of his time, sort of a one-on-one conversation.

The Leader contacted Valadao’s campaign last week regarding his thoughts, and we’re still waiting for a reply.

Why would a congressman, answerable to his constituents, hedge, especially when the forum is in his own backyard?

Mr. Cox, a formidable candidate, has compromised. It’s time our congressman did too.

Mr. Valadao needs to make this happen. A public forum – in Lemoore – is just what Kings County’s constituents want, and an elected representative, while not legally obliged to answer to the public via debates and forums, should take the high road and beginning answering the public’s demands for openness, and sincerity.