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Updated: Chris Fields Says Rep. Keith Ellison Ducked Tuesday’s Debate

In a press conference Tuesday, the 5th District GOP challenger said Ellison called off a debate due to 'scheduling conflicts.'

Despite last week’s fiery debate, U.S. House 5th District challenger Chris Fields said he wants to verbally spar with Rep. Keith Ellison one more time. Yet he believes Ellison isn’t willing to debate him again, after the Minneapolis Urban League canceled a debate scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Fields held a press conference Tuesday at the State Capitol to ask Ellison to reschedule the debate.

Earlier this week, the Chris Fields for Congress campaign office received an email from Minneapolis Urban League Board Chairman Al McFarlane saying that the debate was canceled due to a scheduling conflict.

Fields' campaign office responded to the email, and offered to find and pay for another venue, but nothing has been scheduled.

Though the email did not come directly from Keith Ellison, Fields said that he assumes Ellison canceled the debate because Al McFarlane is a long-time supporter of Ellision.

"The time to act is now," Fields said. "Instead of giving the citizens of the Northside and the 5th Congressional District a chance to participate in a substantive debate with a credible opponent, [Ellison] is ducking the debate."

The scheduled debate would have been the fourth debate between the two 5th District candidates. Last week, in a heated KFAI debate, Ellison called fields a "lowlife scumbag" and a "gutter dweller."

"Not having this debate at an appropriate and convenient time sends a chilling signal that some people don't count and they don't matter," Fields said. "Congressman Ellison's professional conduct has gotten more extreme and erratic with every election. He continually embarrasses himself, and the 5th Congressional District."

In a reactionary statement emailed to Patch, Ellison said:

"While my campaign has been talking to voters about their issues and their future, Mr. Fields has pursued repeated personal attacks culminating in an insult to my family. I reacted badly and issued an immediate apology. He is clearly milking this for his own political gain--not for the people of the 5th District. After several debates, an additional debate wouldn't promote an effective discussion about the issues facing our district. I will continue fighting everyday for the issues that matter to the people of the 5th District."

John Bradley Seals October 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I've been an Ellison supporter but his behavior in this debate is cause for concern.
Kathy Rendall October 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I simply can't vote for Ellison this go round. I was totally taken a back by his comments. I listened to the KFAI debate and Ellison simply didn't care. For instance, Ellison said during the debate that his daughter was in the next room, but yet, calls his opponents some very demeaning names. Ellison certainly is not a good role model for children. I certainly wouldn't want my teenage sons around him. By his own ommission, his daughter was sitting there watching, you would think Ellison would have remained more calm. It's clear Ellison has duped us all. Well, I will dupe him at the polls.
Dan Riser October 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM
A man of honor is Chris Fields, the other guy not so much. For those of you complaining about Chris Fields, ask yourself the question, what would you do if someone was dragging your name through the mud. Mr Fields had the right to call his opponent on what he did. If you believe that ellison had nothing to do with it, you are severely misguided.
Ezra Pound October 24, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Mr Fields has been throwing stones at Mr Ellison from nearly the start of Republican campaign and definitely after he got the nod as the Republican candidate. More name calling, mud slinging, half truth telling have been done by Mr Fields throughout the entire debate. Mr Fields is the candidate who brought up his own past domestic issues on the debate. Mr Ellison did not bring it up. Mr. Fields does not have his ex-wife respond directly; he responds for her. Mr Fields is also the one who brought up Mr Ellison's divorce during the last debate. Sorry, Mr Riser - honor does not behave that way. Mr Fields behavior is sophomoric and that is what is consistent throughout his campaign. From the Mr Fields mouth about Mr Ellison - daddy issues, reverse racism, fire people, not doing enough for black folks, etc...the rhetoric of shallowness. Mr. Fields has been through the mud he created. He gets to live with himself the rest of his life and deal with his issues - namely a lack of character and integrity.
mike savick December 21, 2012 at 02:57 AM
The man apoligized. After constant attacks on his religion and his patriotism by Republican /Teaparty candidate including Michele Bachmann for 6 years anyone would suffer a lapse of niceness.

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