San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 5th, 2012
Courage to Campbell: Why won’t you debate me?

Texas Senate hopeful John Courage on the campaign trail. PUBLICITY PHOTO


San Antonio schoolteacher John Courage hopes Republican nominee Donna Campbell, a tea party movement favorite, has staked out positions that are out of the conservative mainstream for Texas Senate District 25. Campbell, an emergency room doctor who moved to Central Texas late last year, defeated State Sen. Jeff Wentworth and former Railroad Commission chair Elizabeth Ames Jones in the GOP primary.

Although Campbell is presumed to have a solid advantage in the Republican-leaning district, Courage is assailing her relentlessly for avoiding media interviews and refusing debate invitations in the runup to the November general election.

Here is his statement:

Why is my opponent, Donna Campbell, afraid to talk with the constituents of Texas Senate District 25?

Campbell has twice refused my invitations to join me in a series of public forums with our potential constituents in District 25, while at the same time she is accepting invitations to talk to Tea Party groups in Llano County, which is not even in our Senate District.

There are still a half a million eligible voters in Senate District 25 who have never had the opportunity to hear from her, about the important issues that concern the citizens of this district. It appears that she is either afraid to meet the voters, or afraid to meet with me, or indifferent to our potential constituents concerns.

Campbell also appears to be afraid of the mainstream media. She has consistently refused live interviews with well respected print media reporters, only agreeing to answer questions submitted in writing. While at the same time she is being tossed softball questions in lengthy personal interviews, with friendly conservative republican newsletters, and fringe blogs.

I believe the citizens of Senate District 25 deserve to hear directly from the candidates, both Donna Campbell and I, on significant issues of legitimate and pressing concern. Any candidate worth her salt that expects to truly represent her constituents can’t hide from them, or her opposition . Talking to remote Tea Party groups whose members cannot even vote for her may soothe her insecurities, but it won’t win her any votes in Senate District 25.

If Donna Campbell really wants to be a Senator, then she should come forward and face her supporters and detractors, and show why she is the best person to represent District 25.

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13 thoughts on “Courage to Campbell: Why won’t you debate me?

  1. Why is Mr. Courage wearing a heavy coat in 100 degree weather? Could it be he hasn’t been on the campaign trail at all this summer, but instead thinks he can get press by attacking the candidate that has?

  2. I can guarantee that Dr. Campbell has met more voters than her opponent — that’s one of the reasons she won the Republican primary. When the people hear what she has to say, they get energized and tell their friends. Why would she debate her opponent? Why give him an opportunity to build his name recognition on her name? Her focus needs to be on meeting and listening to Republican voters.
    Does her opponent have so little to run on that he has to nit-pick about a trip to speak to a group in Llano? Did it occur to him that she might be doing a friend a favor? Did it occur to him that Dr. Campbell is a pretty good speaker?
    As far as speaking to certain media — at this point, that’s a distraction. What would she have to gain. No matter what Republican candidates do, they don’t get a fair shake. I know several who don’t do campaign interviews with the Express News, for example, including Governor Perry.
    Again, is this all Dr. Campbell’s opponent has to run on?

  3. If Courage is true to his name and his claims why isn’t he out and about in the district speaking and explaining his positions? I haven’t seen him one time and I am out and about nearly every day.

  4. It’s funny that the Mercury reposts so many articles from the Texas Tribune but has never mentioned the TT interview with Dr. Campbell.

  5. “Why would she debate her opponent?”

    Yes, why would us plebes want to hear both politicians speaking off the cuff (well, as much as that is possible in our simplistic, vapid political environment) about what they feel about issues. Its absolutely ridiculous to expect such things when we all know that most of the voting populace (such as it even is) simply votes based upon a letter affixed to someone’s name. Please, this would be such a waste of time. Going to fundraisers surrounded by supporters who cheer and clap at the appropriate catch phrase are much truer manifestations of the democratic process. Go Go Political Theatre!

    “Her focus needs to be on meeting and listening to Republican voters.”

    And does anyone else matter in a general election? Should anyone else matter? Of can you just call someone who doesn’t fit the target demographic a liberal and dismiss their opinions?

    At any rate, thanks for making all this clear. I feel much better about our political process now.

    On a related note, I’m gonna guess that if the good doctor had been the one asking for a debate and the good school teacher had refused, the very same people defending said doctor would be yelling about the teacher for doing the same. Gotta root on the home team, whatever comes up, right? And no, I am in no way a democrat. Now bring on the simplistic accusations and God bless our rational, intellectually honest political process. Cue the Lee Greenwood, maestro…

  6. I cannot for the life of me understand why there is so much fuss over the image. So what if it is a stock image.
    You should be looking at the issues that shape this election and each of the candidates views. That might be more important. Maybe you should just stay at home and not vote if you are not willing to become informed. “Stay asleep” and “Stay ignorant.” You will be trampled over by your own fears.

  7. I attended the Chamber debate with Campbell, Courage and others. Campbell was horrible. She does not debate well at all. Money trumps all and she’ll likely win and that’s too bad. And I’ve always considered myself a conservative Republican. Just not a tea-partier.

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