Hart-Altmire debate canceled

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U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire will not debate Republican challenger Melissa Hart as a range of polls show him with a double-digit lead in the contest.

Mr. Altmire, a first-term Democrat from McCandless, unseated Ms. Hart in 2006.

The initial debate was scheduled for last Tuesday at the Penn State Beaver campus but was pushed back a week because of a visit to the region by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

At that time, both sides indicated they were aware of the new date.

"Unfortunately, Congressman Altmire could not attend (tomorrow night's) debate because they rescheduled it without conferring with us and we had a conflict," said Tess Mullen, the Altmire campaign spokeswoman.

The Hart campaign issued an angry press release over the weekend accusing Mr. Altmire of ducking debates.

"It seems as though there is a concerted effort to hide Altmire from the voters and keep him from openly discussing issues with voters," said Alicia Collins, the Hart campaign manager.



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