Wednesday afternoon, under pressure from both his opponent and news media, Congressman Gowdy agreed to a debate format with his opponent, Democrat Chris Fedalei. He previously called off an event with the same format after weeks of negotiations and an agreement in principle. The debate will feature a one-on-one discussion between the two candidates, moderated by Dr. Danielle Vinson of Furman.
The agreement is not contingent upon the attendance of the statewide Senate candidates, Senator Tim Scott and Thomas Dixon, who will also receive invitations.
Earlier in the day, the Fedalei campaign released the following statement on Gowdy backing out of the initial agreement for the event: "Trey Gowdy first tried to use his friend, Senator Scott, to shield himself from real questions. He then flat-out cancelled the single campaign event he’s even begun to consider at home in years when presented with the prospect of having to confront his challenger man to man.
Congressman Gowdy spends his time talking about accountability for our leaders in Washington - if he were serious about that claim, he’d have a record that he could feel comfortable coming home to defend. Instead, he’s become one of the ineffective Washington insiders that he’s built his brand railing against, spending his time on partisan charades instead of acting on solutions for the people of his district.
During his six debates with Bob Inglis in 2010, Trey Gowdy had a tag-line he repeated often: "Unless voters elect new leadership, they can expect the same result.”
Six years and millions of taxpayer dollars later, we know the kind of Congressman we have - one who won’t protect South Carolinians from Zika, who won’t compromise on criminal justice reform, and who continues to support a profoundly unqualified nominee for President. With his absent leadership at the helm, we’re stuck with a result that does nothing for South Carolina.
Apparently, the one person he refuses to hold accountable is himself."