Brock campaign accuses Sarbanes of ducking debate

September 26, 1994|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer

Republican Senate candidate Bill Brock's campaign has accused incumbent Paul S. Sarbanes of ducking a candidates' debate set for Oct. 3 in Baltimore.

Citing business on Capitol Hill, the Democratic senator has declined to debate until after the Senate recesses next month. However, he will hold a luncheon fund-raiser in Baltimore the day Mr. Brock wants to debate him at an event for candidates sponsored by the University of Baltimore.

vTC "He's hiding behind his incumbency," said M. J. Jameson, a Brock campaign spokeswoman. "Otherwise, why wouldn't he debate?"

Michael Davis, Mr. Sarbanes' campaign manager, said the candidate could not debate that night because the Senate holds voting sessions on Monday afternoons and evenings. An aide to Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, confirmed that schedule.

Mr. Davis said the campaign is talking with several television stations to organize at least two debates that would air no earlier than mid-October.

"We will do them when Paul Sarbanes is done doing the job he was elected to do," Mr. Davis said.

Since the Sept. 13 primary, Mr. Sarbanes has spent most of his time in Washington, while Mr. Brock has reorganized some of his staff, made several public appearances and raised money.

Mr. Brock has raised about $100,000 in the past nine days or so, Ms. Jameson said. However, with about six weeks to go before the Nov. 8 general election, his campaign treasury is tiny compared with Mr. Sarbanes'.

As of Thursday, the Sarbanes camp said it had close to $900,000 on hand, while Mr. Brock's camp reported about $110,000.

Mr. Brock, millionaire heir to a candy fortune, has spent $710,000 of his money on a bruising primary against several relatively unknown opponents. Money is a key element in statewide political races, where a week's worth of television advertisements in Baltimore and Washington can cost $300,000.

In the most recent head-to-head poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Political Media Research in late August, Mr. Sarbanes lead Mr. Brock 58 percent to 23 percent.

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