The Chesterfield County Democratic Committee is appealing to Rep. Eric Cantor, R-7th, to appear in a public meeting with Democratic challenger Wayne Powell to discuss the issues.
Both men are already scheduled to debate Oct. 1 at CarMax headquarters in Goochland County, but that forum is only open to members and guests of its sponsor, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which is charging $25 per ticket to attend.
“With nearly two months remaining before the election and with Congressman Cantor having called for adjournment until after November 6, we believe it is incumbent on him to appear before voters of the 7th District with his opponent,” said Bernie Vogelgesang, chairman of the Chesterfield Democratic Committee.
Cantor, the House Majority Leader who has served the 7th District since 2001, has not debated a Democratic challenger since 2002, and has easily won reelection in the heavily-Republican 7th District, primarily comprised of voters in Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover and Spotsylvania counties.
Powell, a Midlothian lawyer and retired Army colonel, has run an aggressive campaign for the seat, holding a series of public meetings throughout the district and accusing Cantor of being more accountable to monied interests in Washington than to his district.
“The candidates need to hear from us, their constituents, as well,” said Vogelgesang. “A public meeting will allow that to happen.”
“We’re having a debate October 1,” said senior Cantor strategist Ray Allen. “See you all there.”