published Monday, July 7th, 2014

Democratic U.S. Senate candidates disagree over Tennessee debate

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Terry Adams, a Knoxville attorney, introduces himself at a news conference in Nashville on Friday.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Terry Adams, a Knoxville attorney, introduces himself at a news conference in Nashville on Friday.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

U.S. Senate candidate Terry Adams is criticizing Democratic primary rival Gordon Ball over Ball's rejection of a debate.

"I'm very disappointed in Ball," Adams said Monday in a news release. "He puts an ad on TV that says the Democratic Party has no backbone but then refuses to debate the issues. It is clear that is Ball who has no backbone."

Ball was quoted this week by the Knoxville News Sentinel saying that any Democratic candidate debate needed to be held before early voting on July 18, should be televised statewide and should also include lesser-known candidates Larry Crim and Gary Davis.

A multimillionaire, Ball is already up with television ads asking "whatever happened to the Democratic Party" in Tennessee. It also states "some say the Democratic Party has lost it's backbone." In it, the attorney says he's made a "career out of fighting for every day families" and pledges to do the same if elected.

The dust up over the debate in the Democratic primary mirrors an identical one in the GOP Senate primary where incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has indicated he won't debate fellow Republicans Joe Carr and George Flinn.

The primary election is Aug. 7.

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