VOL. 129 | NO. 207 | Thursday, October 23, 2014
Gordon Ball Launches Bus Tour in Tennessee Senate Race
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic Senate candidate Gordon Ball on Wednesday kicked off a bus tour around Tennessee that he hopes will draw attention to incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander's refusal to engage in a series of statewide debates.
The Knoxville attorney has dubbed the tour the "No Show Lamar Bus Tour," which features a campaign staffer dressed up as a costumed chicken wearing a flannel shirt like the ones Alexander wore in his first successful bid for governor in the 1970s.
The Alexander campaign has dismissed Ball's demands for more debates because of time constraints in the last weeks of the race, and has stressed that the candidates did appear in a candidate forum hosted by the Farm Bureau in Cookeville last week.
Ball argued that the early-morning Cookeville event was not open to the public, was untelevised and did not allow the candidates to pose questions to each other.
"I didn't consider it a debate," he said. "It was good to be on the same stage with him, though."
Ball's bus tour is holding three events in Nashville Wednesday, and the Democratic nominee is scheduled to attend a debate on Thursday with several independent Senate candidates. Alexander is not scheduled to attend.
Ball was dismissive of revelations first reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel that he owes more than $46,000 in fees on property he owns in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Ball said he bought the vacant lot in 2009 with plans to build a rental house on it.
"But the market went south and I didn't build the house. Those are maintenance fees on vacant lot," he said. "The lot is for sale, and as soon as the lot sells I will obviously pay the maintenance fees. And that's it."
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