Herr claims Markey ducking debates

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STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, OCT. 10, 2014…..Sen. Ed Markey’s opponent, Brian Herr, is encouraging his supporters to visit a pub in Peabody on Saturday and ask the senator why he won’t debate the Hopkinton Republican.

Herr’s campaign claimed Friday that several news organizations have tried to set up debates and that it’s been two weeks since Herr sent a letter to Markey asking for five debates.

Matt Wylie, Herr’s spokesman, told the News Service that WBUR, the Metrowest Daily News, New England Cable News and WGBY in Springfield are interested in hosting debates.

Herr has kept up an active campaign schedule and claims Markey is trying to duck him as he seeks a full six-year term after his 2013 special election win over Republican Gabriel Gomez.

In New Bedford for a harbor-side festival in late September, Markey said he has been campaigning.

“I’ve been criss-crossing the state non-stop for the last year, visiting with mayors and local elected officials,” Markey told the News Service, mentioning a recent visit to a Malden v. Malden Catholic football game, and events in Danvers, Springfield, Worcester and Waltham.

Noting the next day he planned to kick off a road race to honor Glen Doherty, a U.S. Navy Seal who died defending the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Markey said, “I just keep going and I’m not going to stop.”

Asked for his thoughts on Herr, Markey said, “I find that the best campaign is to advance the best policies, and I’ve done that as a senator, and I’m going to be running on my record.”

A local official in his hometown, Herr has worked for 29 years in the commercial construction industry.

In an email, Markey spokeswoman Giselle Barry confirmed that Markey plans to debate Herr next Friday on New England Cable News, a debate that Wylie also acknowledged was a possibility. “The Senator looks forward to the discussion,” Barry wrote.

Barry did not respond to Herr’s claim that Markey is ducking debates or his request for five debates.

Markey plans on Saturday to visit Mike & Lill’s Black Sheep Pub & Grill at noon for a meet and greet. Wylie said Herr’s campaign learned about Markey’s planned appearance on Twitter, from a flier promoting his appearance as a special guest at an event for Seth Moulton, the 6th Congressional District Democratic nominee. Moulton’s campaign said Friday that Markey is endorsing him on Saturday.

Markey is not the only veteran Massachusetts Democrat who is being dogged by an opponent hoping to engage in debates before the election. Republican David D’Arcangelo, a Malden city councilor who is running for secretary of state, has been joined by Green-Rainbow Party candidate Danny Factor, of Acton, in chastising Secretary of State William Galvin for not responding to their debate requests.

[Andy Metzger contributed reporting]

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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