John Barrow faces Brad Raffensperger in the Dec. 4 runoff. 

Raffensperger claims ‘last minute nature’ of long-planned debate forced him to skip event

Republican Brad Raffensperger’s sudden decision on Tuesday to skip the only televised debate of the runoff for secretary of state has sparked a backlash from the organizers of the event. 

Raffensperger sent word late Monday that he would be a no-show for the Atlanta Press Club event, leaving Democrat John Barrow with the stage to himself a week before the Dec. 4 runoff.

The Republican claimed the “last minute nature” of the debate when he announced Monday he wouldn’t attend it. But the press club sent out its notice for the event on Nov. 9 – nearly three weeks before the showdown. 

In a lengthy statement, the Atlanta Press Club said that Raffensperger said on Nov. 19 that the day wasn’t ideal, but he didn’t back out of the debate until a week later. 

“As late as Nov. 26, we were in talks with Raffensperger’s campaign to see if there was another time we could reschedule the Nov. 27 debate that would work with both campaigns,” the press club’s statement said, “but the Raffensperger campaign did not provide any options.” 

The event still went forward without the Republican. You can check it out here.


About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.