Meadows asks Sheriff Comes to debate him

September 25, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Republican challenger Joseph P. Meadows said he wants to debate Harford Sheriff Robert E. Comes "on the issues" before November's general election and has proposed a format to the )) Democratic incumbent.

Mr. Meadows said he did not propose another "same old political forum" in which both candidates in the sheriff's race could rehash campaign rhetoric already published in their handout literature.

"I would like to hold a true debate, with members of the media asking both candidates tough questions on any issue," said Mr. Meadows last week before limping off with a cast on his right foot and a cane to knock on doors in the Aberdeen area.

Mr. Meadows said he fractured his foot last Sunday while he was moving some heavy equipment at home. "I didn't do it so I could win the sympathy vote," he quipped.

Mr. Meadows said Thursday he had told Sheriff Comes that he would rent a hall at Harford Community College for a debate and offered three tentative possible dates.

He said he proposed a format in which media members would ask questions of each candidate.

"They [candidates] would have one minute to respond and a follow-up question could be asked," Mr. Meadows said. The other candidate then would have 15 seconds for rebuttal, he said.

The proposed debate would continue for an hour and 15 minutes, he said.

"I don't want it sponsored by a political group or just throw it open to the public in a question-and-answer format," Mr. Meadows said.

"That leaves both candidates open to charges that they have plants in the audience targeting specific items."

Mr. Meadows said the sheriff agreed to consider such a debate and promised to make a decision soon on whether or not he would participate.

Sheriff Comes had said Thursday that his strategy leading up to Election Day called for posting more signs, handing out more pamphlets and talking with people.

He said he probably won't campaign door-to-door, but he'll remain flexible.

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