Local News

Bowles Moves Ahead With Ads, Calls For Debates

Posted September 13, 2002

— There will be no stop in advertising in the U.S. Senate race.

Democrat Erskine Bowles moved ahead with plans to air a new ad Thursday, two days after his selection as his party's nominee in the U.S. Senate race. The ad focuses on job losses in the state, and calls for changes in trade policies with China.

Bowles rejected a call by Republican nominee Elizabeth Dole to end radio, television and newspaper advertising in favor of a series of debates.

The former Clinton White House chief of staff said Thursday that he wants to debate and avoid advertising that engages in personal attacks.

"Since we have such a short period of time, I have to communicate with the voters and I have to use every method I can to do that. At the same time, I do take her at her word that yes, she wants to debate, and yes, she wants to run a clean, issues oriented campaign. I accept both of those flat out," Bowles said.

Political strategist Brad Crone said Bowles needs the TV face time.

"In every single poll statewide, Bowles is down 10 to 12 points. He cannot afford not to be on television advertising his message to the voters," Crone said.

Strategists said Bowle's biggest challenge is winning over female voters.

Bowles said he has sent a letter to Dole requesting that they meet to discuss debates and negotiate an agreement on advertising.

Dole said she is pleased about the prospects of a public debate, but adds the proposal is pointless unless paid advertising ends.


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