State Senator Charlie Ross, the conservative candidate for lieutenant governor, today released a letter sent to his opponent, Phil Bryant, regarding Bryant?s consistent refusal to debate the Senator on the issues affecting Mississippians.

“The voters of Mississippi deserve debates in the Republican primary. We need a primary decided by substance and issues and wide-open, one-on-one debates are the only way to get that,” Ross said. “There is no point in stalling. It’s time for Phil Bryant to start accepting the invitations to the debates that are already set up — debates that provide the voters a one-on-one, side-by-side look at where we stand and what we want to do.”

Attached is the letter sent to Bryant.

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May 21, 2007

Dear Phil:

Six weeks ago, I made a sincere challenge to you to join me in substantive, free-flowing Republican debates in each of Mississippi’s major media markets. At the time, you responded through your spokesperson that you were willing to participate in such debates.

Since that time, I have accepted two debate proposals — one from the Hinds County Republican Party and one from the Harrison County Republican Club. To date, those are the only proposals for true Republican Primary debates that I have received. It is my understanding that you have not yet accepted either of these Republican debates. Will you join me today in accepting these two debates?

The voters all across Mississippi deserve to hear from us in a wide-open format where they can get to know more about our plans for the state and our positions on the issues. If you agree that the voters deserve that, join me today to make it happen. To stimulate broadcast debates that will reach the maximum number of voters, co-sign with me the following letter to our state’s major television stations — it’s a simple statement that makes it clear that you and I are both ready to accept debates that reach our state’s voters.

Our primary is just over two months away. The time for hemming and hawing about debating is over. The time for haggling is over. Let’s debate. A blanket acceptance from the two of us will make it clear to our state’s broadcasters that we’re serious. Join me in this commitment as a demonstration of our good will.

Charlie Ross