Dem Garrison challenges Johnson to Congressional debates

By David Skolnick


Jennifer Garrison, the Democratic nominee in the 6th Congressional District, is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson to a series of seven debates — one in each of the district’s television markets.

Garrison, of Marietta, said she’s making the challenge so “voters will have the opportunity to attend or to view local coverage of the debates.”

She also criticized Johnson Wednesday for spending “more taxpayer dollars on mail pieces and telephone town halls during his first term in office than any other Republican congressman in Ohio, presumably to keep his constituents informed.

“He was so concerned with staying in touch with his constituents that he spent thousands of taxpayer dollars during the government shutdown and in the days leading up to it on telephone town halls.”

Congressional expense records show Johnson, a Republican from Marietta, spent $1,148 on a telephone town hall Sept. 26, 2013, less than a week before the government shutdown, and $2,294 on another Oct. 2, 2013, the day after the shutdown that lasted from Oct. 1 to 16.

In response, Sarah Poulton, Johnson’s campaign manager, said, “There will be plenty of time for political campaigning and candidate forums after Labor Day, and Bill is committed to participate in candidate forums at that time. Although Jennifer Garrison seems eager to start the campaign season early and bring scrutiny to her partisan record, once she makes her way around the entire district, she may regret that eagerness.”

The 18-county 6th District includes all of Columbiana County and a portion of Mahoning County.

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