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Did Harry Teague just forfeit the election to Steve Pearce Thursday night?

By   /   October 29, 2010  /   No Comments

Political watchers were left scratching their heads on Thursday night when Harry Teague opted out of the KOB-TV debate with US House of Representatives opponent Steve Pearce.

Channel 4 had scheduled a debate between the Second Congressional District  candidates but Teague told KOB-TV that he couldn’t take part “because of his busy schedule,” KOB-TV anchor Nicole Brady said Thursday night. Channel 4 informed Teague that if he passed, the station would still go on the air, interviewing Pearce alone for 30 minutes. The Teague campaign still refused.

So, with five days to go until the election, Pearce was handed a half hour of free, prime-time air time (8-8:30 pm!) on a TV station that is seen virtually throughout the entire state. Pearce gave an opening and closing statement and fielded questions from Brady during the program.

It’s widely acknowledged that Teague is uncomfortable in a debate format but to simply forfeit 30 minutes of airtime to your opponent in a closely-contested race seems to be border-line politically suicidal.

Maybe that’s why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided earlier this month to shift some ad buys from Teague to Martin Heinrich in the First Congressional District race.

You can watch the half-hour interview from Channel 4 here.


Rob is the National Energy Correspondent for Watchdog.org. Rob is an Emmy-winning news anchor who has held many prominent positions in the journalism field for over 10 years working for MSNBC, Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and several local television stations. He served as the bureau chief for New Mexico Watchdog and Capitol Report New Mexico for four years. Rob can be reached on Twitter at @NMWatchdog or by email at rnikolewski@watchdog.org