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GOP candidate upset he was left out of Congressional debate
Mark Rees, one of seven Republicans vying for the chance to take on incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell in the 3rd District, is crying foul over being left out of a GOP debate based on fundraising totals.
The event, sponsored by a group called the Benton County Advocates, is being held April 27. The group invited candidates Dave Funk, Jim Gibbons and Brad Zaun to participate based on “individual contributions as presented to the FEC for first quarter 2010 reporting purposes.” The other four men running in the primary, including Rees, were not invited.
“I am disappointed that I will be excluded from the debate and do believe this decision weakens its credibility,” Rees said in a statement. “My campaign has been active, aggressive, and frankly, has offered much more in terms of achievable policy proposals than the rest of the field.”
Rees, who considers himself the only moderate Republican in the primary field, points out that while he raised less than his opponents during the first quarter of 2010, overall he has more cash on hand than every candidate except Gibbons.
UPDATE: Bill Keller, a member of the Benton County Advocates, addresses the controversy surrounding the debates in a comment below.