DO IT AGAIN: Tucker (far right) challenges Hil (far left) to rematch. Joe Swafford is Libertarian candidate. AETN

Clarke Tucker, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has renewed his call for another debate with Republican Rep. French Hill, particularly because of the few questions, none about health care, in the only debate held.

Hill has dodged all debates with Tucker save a one-hour AETN debate this week that included a Libertarian candidate. Only six questions were asked, none about health care, which has been a key point in Tucker’s campaign. He’s criticized Hill for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act in legislation that would have rendered useless the ACA’s protection of insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Hill has also been silent about Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s legal effort to kill ACA and pre-existing condition coverage outright. Said a Tucker release:


“As candidates for office, we have an obligation to communicate with voters about where we stand on issues, and I do not think this week’s debate gave enough to voters to make a full and fair analysis,” Tucker said. “We didn’t even get the opportunity to talk about health care, widely recognized as the top policy issue in this race. That’s not to mention, we did not discuss veterans’ issues, Social Security and Medicare, our environment, or college affordability. That is why I am calling for at least one additional debate before Early Voting begins. The voters deserve at least that.

I’ve sent a request for a response to Hill, but he and his taxpayer-financed staff typically do not respond to questions from the Arkansas Times. They prefer friendly forums and easy questions, which some local reporters seem happy to give them om on-air appearances.

Add my voice to criticism about the AETN debate format that allows only one candidate, on a rotating basis, to rebut a question asked another candidate. It makes no sense. There is virtually no interplay among candidates in the AETN format.