Mayfield talks debate turndown; son's charges - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mayfield talks debate turndown; son's charges

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CHATTANOOGA, TN/ (WRCB) -- For the second time in as many weeks, 3rd district congressional candidate Scottie Mayfield has turned down an invitation to go head to head with his opponents.

He's come under fire for that decision and has not granted interviews on the topic, until now.

 "I'm comfortable talking to constituents and telling them who I am, what I believe in, and how I would vote," Mayfield says.

But Scottie Mayfield says he won't debate. He believes voters who attend debates have their minds made up.

"We're all Republicans; we all pretty much agree on the issues," he says. "This is not as much about issues, as who has the leadership and background to accomplish the things we need to accomplish."

Mayfield says his time is better spent in the district.

His challengers disagree.

Weston Wamp took to Twitter Thursday.

"First time I've ever heard of a challenger avoiding a debate," Wamp tweets.
"Confusing move for someone who wants to be a representative."

And Ron Bhalla questioned how prepared Mayfield is for debate, saying, "Sometimes candidates who think they're leading the polls aren't."

In a statement sent to Channel 3, incumbent Chuck Fleischmann stated, "Debates are a great way for the folks to know where the candidates stand and while I know Mr. Mayfield has had trouble identifying his positions so far, may be these debates would be a good place for him to start that process."

But Mayfield says he's building his platform.

"We need to quit spending money," he says. "We need to reduce regulation. We need to let small business grow."

He says his long-history in local business makes him the man for the job.

"I think it will be easy to attract businesses, and I think I can be a sales person for East Tennessee to do that."

Mayfield says his campaign is in full stride, after a set-back involving his son Michael Mayfield, who's facing charges for slashing a Fleischmann staffer's tire.

"He made a mistake," Mayfield says. "If he was a part of my staff he would not be working for me, but he's my son and we love him and we have forgiven him."

Some have speculated Mayfield's son received special treatment. His court date was set for three weeks after the primary election.

Mayfield says he asked that his son be treated like anyone else.

"I cannot address that, because I didn't participate in any of that decision process," Mayfield says. "I don't know how it was arrived."

Mayfield says his focus now is on the road to Washington.

"I want people to know who I am and what I stand for," he says. "And I want them to make a decision for the 3rd district and for America when they go to the polls on August the 2nd."

Channel 3 asked Mayfield how voters who have questions about his stance will get answers.

He referred them to his website, where he says new issues are added weekly.

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