Ashdown Challenges Hatch to Debate in Every County
July 28, 2006
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Ashdown Challenges Hatch to Debate in Every County

SALT LAKE CITY, UT---Democratic Nominee for US Senate Pete Ashdown
mailed and emailed a letter to the Hatch Election Committee, challenging
Senator Hatch to debate Ashdown and any other party's candidate in all
29 counties in Utah before Election Day.  Ashdown's best case scenario
entails beginning the debates on August 12 at the Salt Lake Main
Library.  In the letter, Ashdown stated: "I believe we owe it to the
people of Utah to clearly and strongly articulate our positions."

Ashdown feels that Hatch has some time available during the August
Congressional recess to show up in Utah's communities and debate.  "This
summer, 28 Utah counties (all Grand) will hold county fairs, events that
represent major public gatherings for their communities," Ashdown said.

"I urge that we take advantage of these audiences and debate."  It
has since been discovered that Daggett County will not have a county
fair this year either.

Additionally, Ashdown will also send letters to media organizations, the
League of Women Voters, Chambers of Commerce, and other community groups
encouraging them to sponsor debates before their audiences.

"We owe it to the people of Utah to get our opinions out as much as
possible," the XMission founder and Democratic candidate stated. 
"Starting to debate in mid-October, as Senator Hatch has traditionally
done, will not accomplish this."  Previous debates between Senator Hatch
and his challengers started as late as October 19 (2000) and as early as
September 27 (1988).

Ashdown has also sent letters and emails to the candidates of other
political parties, inviting them to debate during the fair season also. 
"I feel that Utahns should be able to hear more than two voices in this
election," Ashdown said.  "I don't mind sharing the stage with other
candidates."  He urged the Republican incumbent to accept other
candidates into the debate, broadening the discussion beyond the
traditional solutions and "giving Utahns every choice, not just two."

Ashdown plans to visit many counties and cities throughout Utah for the
remainder of the campaign, broadcasting images and blogging from the
wireless Internet connection in his campaign motor home.  Attached to
this email is the original letter to Senator Hatch, which was emailed
and posted via certified mail; similar letters were sent to the other