Dr. Nick Ruiz has challenged Congressman Alan Grayson to a debate that he wants televised and held at the University of Central Florida. Ruiz is currently in a primary with the controversial incumbent from Florida’s 9th District.
In a statement he had this to say.
“I hope that the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College will be so gracious as to help sponsor this very important public engagement for the benefit of the students, voters and the community. Like recent debate forums at St. Petersburg College for the FL-13 race, and other political debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters, or the Space Coast Tiger Bay Club, debate forums serve a vital function in the protection and promotion of democracy and good government. My campaign will make every effort to work with UCF, VCC and other parties to provide such an important public forum for the FL-9 Democratic primary election on 8/26/14.”
The debate Ruiz is referring to is the special election in Florida’s 13th between Alex Sink and David Jolly. It actually gained a national audience with a broadcast on CSPAN. He currently teaches at UCF and hopes he can raise the profile of both the race and the University with this debate.
It’s unlikely Grayson would accept the challenge. He’s got a full warchest of campaign donations on top of his personal wealth and he’s the incumbent. Grayson will likely float his high name ID along with some television ads to win this primary without the risk of taking the stage with Ruiz. He has debated the past 3 election cycles however, including a smaller debate with 3rd party candidates in 2010. He loves television cameras and if he thinks he can build excitement for his campaign, then there is a slim chance he could accept.
The winner of 9th Congressional Democratic Primary would roll into the general to face one of three Republicans currently running. Osceola Realtor Executive Carol Platt, Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi. While it’s likely there will be debates in that primary too, none have been announced at this time.