The two candidates vying for the 8th District Congressional seat in November have both now issued debate challenges to one another.

On Friday, Republican Congressman Mike Bishop challenged Democrat Elissa Slotkin to agree to three debates in the 8th Congressional District. Bishop accepted a debate invitation from WDIV’s Flashpoint. The Mike Bishop for Congress campaign has received inquiries and details to two other debates will be forthcoming. Bishop said “Our economy in Michigan and across America is roaring with record low unemployment and economic growth that was 4.1% in the second quarter. I believe it is vital for 8th District voters to understand the differences between the candidates and how to keep our economy growing and moving Michigan forward. As someone who has lived here my entire life and has been given the honor to serve the people of my community, I believe I have a duty to share my vision with the voters in a fair, open, and professional setting that treats all with respect. I hope Ms. Slotkin agrees.”

This is not the first call for a debate. Slotkin issued a public challenge to Bishop on August 7th to join her for at least three public, in-person debates. Slotkin says she followed up on the challenge with a certified letter dated August 17th. Instead of responding directly to her request, her campaign says Bishop -- who is feeling the pressure of the first real competition he has faced in his career -- issued his own challenge to Slotkin to attend three debates.

To that, Bishop spokesperson Stu Sandler responded: “If Elissa Slotkin were in Michigan for previous elections, she would know that Mike Bishop has always debated his opponents. Elissa Slotkin on the other hand has only voted once in Michigan and that was for herself a few weeks ago in the primary. As far as her letters, we never received them. My guess is if Elissa Slotkin did send them that they were returned to her house in Washington DC. Mike Bishop is proud to have committed to the WDIV Flashpoint debate and will discuss additional debates in the future”.

Slotkin says she has already confirmed her appearance on WDIV’s “Flashpoint” for a debate against Rep. Bishop. Slotkin says “Rep. Bishop is insulting the intelligence of the voter by attempting to look like a leader by saying he will appear in public forums, something he has been dodging over the last 22 months. I issued the challenge to Rep. Bishop for three, public debates on my primary night on August 7th, and when I didn’t hear back, I wrote him a certified letter dated August 17th. Rep. Bishop is playing games with the voter and using tactics that people have come to hate from career politicians in Washington. A real leader answers a challenge when issued, clearly, quickly, and with seriousness. I look forward to publicly debating Rep. Bishop now that he appears willing to do so”. (JM)