The Beck camp struck first, demanding face time with the challenger, and triggering a response in the most-watched district of the general election season.
With something like incredulity, Vin Gopal met the challenge by state Senator Jen Beck (R-11) for two debates, wondering why the candidates in the battleground district should limit themselves – and called for no fewer than five debate encounters.
But Beck’s allies noted that their champion dropped the gauntlet first, even as Gopal backers chafed at what the senator deigned to describe as a debate.
Democrat Gopal issued his response today following a statement released by the incumbent Republican senator in which she said she plans to participate in two events: a candidates’ forum hosted by the Monmouth Ocean Development Council on Sept. 15th and a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters on Oct. 16th at Monmouth University.
“I look forward to contrasting my strong record and advocacy for Monmouth County families against Vin Gopal’s support for tax-raising and job-killing policies,” said Beck, calling him “Camden County Vin” in the release. “It is important for voters to hear a candidates’ thoughts and ideas for themselves and I welcome the opportunity to debate, as I have in all of my campaigns.”
Gopal shot back, “Just two debates? As usual, Jen Beck is a day late and several debates short. By announcing a public debate and candidate luncheon that we’ve already agreed to, Trenton Jen Beck is continuing her insubstantial campaign. This is classic Trenton Jen Back – say one thing and do another. This is the same Jen Beck that backed out of a Garden State Equality offered debate just last week.
“Let’s have a real discussion and stop playing politics,” Gopal added. “We should do five debates – once a week in the final five weeks of the campaign. Of these, one should be televised and one should be broadcast on radio. The residents of Monmouth County deserve to hear Jen Beck explain her history of flip-flopping on every issue from women’s healthcare funding, background checks and property tax reform.”