Republican US Senate candidate ghosts Virginia debate

Republican US Senate candidate ghosts Virginia debate

Virignia Republican US Senate candidate , Hung Cao, speaks at a rally for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, in Chesapeake, Va., Friday June 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Michael O'Connor

July 9, 2024

“It is a shame Hung Cao is hiding from Virginians.”

The organizer of a US Senate electoral debate in Virginia had to cancel the event after the Republican candidate ignored its invitation. 

The Virginia Bar Association announced last week it was canceling a July 20 debate scheduled between Republican US Senate candidate Hung Cao and his Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine. 

“The VBA was unable to obtain a timely commitment to participate from the Cao campaign,” the Virginia Bar Association said. 

Cao, a far-right Republican, has not offered an explanation for his apparent refusal to debate Kaine. His campaign did not comment on the Virginia Bar Association debate but said it is “currently in negotiations with a statewide media company for a much more visible event.”

READ MORE: Leading Virginia Republican US Senate candidate downplays health care importance

Kaine’s campaign blasted Cao for dodging the debate. 

“It is a shame Hung Cao is hiding from Virginians,” Michael Beyer, Kaine’s communications director, said in a statement. “Tim Kaine is glad to stand before Virginians and talk about what he’s doing to grow our economy, expand health care access while cutting prescription drug prices, and protect reproductive freedom.”

Kaine’s campaign challenged Cao to clarify whether he planned to participate in debates scheduled in September and October. 

  • Michael O'Connor

    Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Virginia news since 2013 with reporting stints at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Business, and Richmond BizSense. A graduate of William & Mary and Northern Virginia Community College, he also covered financial news for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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