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Brooks and Holley have yet to debate

Charlie Holley and Rep. Mo Brooks at separate speaking events.

It’s days before the general election, and no debate has taken place between the candidates for U.S. Congress in Alabama’s 5th district.

Madison resident Charlie Holley, the Democratic nominee for the 5th Congressional District, is running against Republican Congressman Mo Brooks of Huntsville.

Holley cites Brooks wanting an unfair advantage as a reason the two have not debated.

“I’m not surprised at this,” Holley said.  “From what I understand from other groups, this has not been the first time my opponent insisted on having an unfair debate advantage.”

Mo Brooks said he wanted to go second during closing arguments in any debate with Holley. Order of candidates speaking is often determined by a coin toss.

“I’d been more than happy to participate with any kind of debate, provided I got the second closing argument, so I could respond to whatever attack he launches,” Brooks said.

Holley was excluded from a political event at Athens State University on Tuesday because organizers of the event decided since they could not get the candidates to agree on terms of a debate, neither could appear.

“Given the nature of my opponents campaigning, and how he has been negative from day one, I wanted to be in a position to respond to whatever attack” he presented, Brooks said.

Brooks said the only way he could respond to an attack is if he heard it first. He compared it to a plaintiff going first during closing arguments in court and the defendant getting to follow.

“I think it’s unfortunate and very unfair that my opponent has chosen to avoid the people’s questions,” Holley said. “Yet it seems okay to him to take their campaign donations and pay for a trip to talk to Ohio voters instead. I believe the people of North Alabama, including Republicans, deserve better treatment than what they are getting from the current Congressman. I’m asking Republicans to vote a split ticket and put someone in office who will respect and appreciate them.”

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