Mullin and Shannon agree to TV debate and joint forum appearance
U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin and TW Shannon agreed to a televised debate and forum with Oklahoma ranchers, giving Republican voters at least two chances to hear U.S. Senate candidates address issues together during the second round.
The televised debate, which will be conducted by News 9 and News on 6, the CBS affiliates in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on August 2. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association forum is scheduled for July 23.
“We’re confident these candidate forums will make the choice incredibly clear for voters across the state,” said Mullin, of Westville.
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“Now that we have forums that do not conflict with the Congress schedule, I eagerly accepted the first two invitations I received for this second round of elections. I hope my opponent will intervene and will accept our challenge to debate.
Shannon, CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank in Oklahoma City and former Oklahoma House Speaker, said Friday, “I enjoyed traveling the state and debating important issues with my fellow Republican candidates during the primary. I hope the congressman keeps his word to run this time because Oklahomans deserve it. I certainly expect him to be a formidable stage presence now that he is in his second decade in Congress.
Mullin skipped two debates, including one televised statewide, before Tuesday’s primary, citing his need to be in Washington for the votes. Mullin declined an offer to appear at that debate via satellite. Mullin offered to appear at the second debate virtually, but organizers declined, citing technological complications.
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Shannon and Mullin canceled their intention to participate in a forum sponsored by the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma after first agreeing to appear.
The forum with the state’s beef industry is set for a Saturday, and the House rarely holds votes on weekends. Congress is currently set to suspend during the August 2 debate.
Mullin called his Tuesday finish a “big primary victory. The congressman finished first in 75 of the state’s 77 counties and garnered 43.6% of the vote in the 13-person field. Shannon got 17.5% of the vote.
The second round is August 23.
Mullin and Shannon are running for the seat vacated by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who announced in February that he would step down when the current Congress ends in January. The winner will face former U.S. Representative Kendra Horn, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, in the Nov. 8 general election.
In his election night remarks on Tuesday, Shannon alluded to Mullin’s broken term limit pledge – Mullin swore in 2012 to serve no more than three terms in Congress, but is now in his fifth term — and appeared to do so again on Friday referencing Mullin’s time in Washington.
However, Mullin’s tenure won’t reach a decade until January.