Houston County Republican Women's meeting

2nd District Congressional candidate Barry Moore talks to Thomas Brown before speaking at the Houston County Republican Women's meeting at Wiregrass Rehab Center on Thursday.

The GOP 2nd Congressional District candidates may soon debate one another in a televised event.

Jeff Coleman’s campaign manager, Dalton Dismukes, said Thursday that Coleman would “be happy to debate” opponent Barry Moore, who earlier accused Coleman of avoiding a debate in a news release sent to media.

Moore said in a statement: “I’m disappointed that Mr. Coleman is avoiding debating me. The voters of District 2 should have the chance to see both of us go head to head before the runoff on July 14th. We’ve had several chances, we were even offered a televised debate, but Coleman has backed out of every single opportunity. I’m willing to debate him anytime, anyplace.”

In the statement, Moore said he learned that Coleman had withdrawn from a scheduled debate between the two candidates June 30 in Covington County and three other public forum appearances in the last week.

A Facebook post from the Republican Party of Covington County announced the event only as a “candidate forum.”

“I want people to ask me the tough questions. I want to talk about my record. I want to talk about the issues,” Moore said. “To have an opportunity to do that in a forum where people can hear and know who Barry Moore is, we win on that deal every time.”

Dismukes rebutted the accusations after representing Coleman at the Houston County Republican Women’s meeting, saying Coleman has been busy with small-business roundtable events that have been scheduled for months. He said Coleman had not committed to appear at any forums and did not cancel any events this past week.

“It’s simply not true. It’s a lie is what it is,” Dismukes said. “It’s sad that they’ve resorted to telling complete fabrications.”

During the GOP forum, WTVY asked Dismukes if Coleman would be willing to debate Moore in a televised event the week before the July 14 primary runoff election, to which he agreed.

Moore also said his opponent has outspent him 10-to-1, saying he has only spent around $200,000 while Coleman has spent almost $2 million by March 31, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

However, Moore’s campaign has recently been backed by the national political action committee Club for Growth Action, which has reportedly spent $516,697 in the last couple of weeks on ads.

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