Florida Dem congressional hopeful accused of dodging English-language debate

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Democratic congressional hopeful Donna Shalala has debated her GOP opponent in Spanish twice. However when it got here time for a doable English-language debate, Shalala wasn’t there.

Republican Maria Elvira Salazar appeared on a Channel 10 Sunday morning program – the place the 2 candidates had been given the invite to debate in English, in line with the Miami Herald. However Shalala wasn’t current due to an obvious scheduling battle.

“Donna Shalala is just not right here sitting throughout from Maria Elvira Salazar. All we will say is we tried our greatest for weeks to rearrange a authentic debate right here on this program,” Michael Putney, co-host of “This Week in South Florida,” reportedly stated. “It went backwards and forwards on which dates have been accessible.”

The Miami Herald famous Shalala appeared on Univision 23 Miami Sunday morning throughout Salazar’s look on Channel 10.

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“I would like the viewers to grasp that my opponent Mrs. Shalala has been saying that I didn’t need to debate her in English,” Salazar, a Spanish-language journalist, stated. “We had two debates – one in Telemundo, one other on Univision. You’re a witness that I texted you proper after the first, and I stated I used to be going to be very pleased to come back and do the primary debate, or the one debate in English on this program.”

On Twitter, Salazar claimed Shalala “selected to play video games and dodge the controversy.”

Shalala’s marketing campaign has been essential of solely doing debates in Spanish – particularly as she doesn’t communicate the language, the Miami Herald beforehand reported.

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Salazar has maintained the absence of an English-language debate wasn’t her fault, however that of a scarcity of stations requesting one, in line with the newspaper.

The 27th congressional district, the place GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is retiring, is primarily made up of Hispanic residents, notably of Cuban descent.

Regardless of her title recognition, Shalala has confronted a good race in a district that Hillary Clinton gained by a 20-point margin over President Trump in 2016. Shalala is a former Well being and Human Companies secretary underneath the Clinton administration and former president of the College of Miami.

Fox Information has ranked the race a toss-up.

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