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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 07, 2018 8:30 pm

Tritch, Banks spar over campaign statement

A debate over debates has generated more debate.

Democratic congressional candidate Courtney Tritch said Monday at a news conference that Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, has not agreed to dates for public debates ahead of the Nov. 6 election. She said she wants him to confirm multiple dates by Aug. 15.

Banks told The Journal Gazette that he wants to debate Tritch and will "nail down the dates as soon as we can."

His campaign also sent a statement to radio station WBOI. It said, in part, "Unlike Ms. Tritch, Congressman Banks has a family and a job and that job is serving the people of northeast Indiana. As we’ve said before, there will be plenty of opportunity to debate at the appropriate time."

That prompted a lengthy written response Tuesday from Tritch, a marketing consultant. She wrote that she was "outraged, offended and hurt" by the Banks campaign statement.

"I have encountered many men in my life who have thought that their jobs were more important than mine (and that they should be paid more than me). I have also encountered many men who look down on me because I don’t have a husband or children," she wrote.

"I just didn’t realize we had elected one of those men to public office right here in northeast Indiana," she wrote.

Asked to comment, Banks said in an email that Tritch "is twisting my spokesperson’s comments yesterday to disparage my character. Our response was simple and clear: I have priorities other than campaign politics. Specifically, my job as representative for the Third District and my family."

He added, "I will stay focused on my duty as congressman and look forward to debating Ms. Tritch on important policy issues closer to Election Day."