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43rd Assembly District Rivals Debate the Issue of Debates

Times Staff Writer

A challenge to debate has itself become the subject of one.

“Today, I call upon my opponent, Terry Friedman, to come out of hiding, face me and to face the people by agreeing to a series of debates,” challenger Tom Franklin, a Beverly Hills Republican, said in a Sept. 26 news release. “We’ll be waiting for the Friedman campaign to call.”

A week later, Assemblyman Friedman (D-Tarzana), who represents the 43rd District, expressed surprise when a reporter inquired about Franklin’s challenge.

“He’ll have to wait a long time if he doesn’t contact me,” Friedman said of Franklin. “I have heard nothing.”

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Asked Tuesday whether he had issued the invitation to debate to Friedman, Franklin responded: “I don’t think it was sent out. It was just a general challenge to debate.”

Moments later, he reversed himself. He said he had spoken to his campaign consultant, Rob Wilcox, and learned that a letter was sent to Friedman’s Assembly office when the news release was issued Sept. 26.

Why then did Friedman maintain he hadn’t received anything?

Said Franklin, “Apparently his people at his office are not informing him of his mail.”

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“That’s not true,” Friedman responded Wednesday. “I have not received it.”

Friedman, meanwhile, said he is willing to debate, schedule permitting, if and when he is asked. He said he has been out front representing his constituents, not hiding, as his opponent asserted.

The heavily Democratic 43rd District stretches from Studio City to Topanga Canyon and over the Santa Monica Mountains to Beverly Hills, Westwood and Brentwood.


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