Ruppersberger challenged by Bengur to five debates

Executive is agreeable if three other 2nd District candidates are included

July 24, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

Oz Bengur, the political newcomer running for Congress in the 2nd District, challenged Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger yesterday to a series of five debates before the Democratic primary in September.

Jim Cauley, Ruppersberger's campaign manager, said the executive would be happy to debate - but would do so only if the event was held by a neutral sponsor, such as the League of Women Voters, and if all Democratic candidates were allowed to participate.

Three other Democrats are in the race: Kenneth T. Bosley, the party's nominee in the 2nd District in the last two elections; Brian H. Davis, a Baltimore City government worker who is new to politics; and James E. DeLoach Jr., a Sun delivery agent and eBay merchant who has run for the office twice before.

"It'll be everybody or nobody," Cauley said. "We'll stand up with anybody, but it'll be fair and equal to everyone involved as opposed to set up for, by, and meant for one candidate."

The other candidates said they would be more than eager to participate.

Bengur said he has some reservations about a format with five candidates instead of two, but said he would consider the idea.

"I really think people are better served by having the primary competition debate each other, but again ... we'll consider it and talk to the other people," Bengur said. "The major thing is we want to have an opportunity to have our views and his views compared by the voters."

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