Noem will not be attending State Fair debate in Huron - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Noem will not be attending State Fair debate in Huron

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It is the beginning of debate season for South Dakota's congressional challengers.

The September 1st State Fair Debate, sponsored by the SD Farmers Union, is known to be one of the most important debates of the campaign. This year, Congresswoman Noem declined her invitation.

When her democratic challenger Matt Varilek heard Noem wasn't going to be there, he said he was surprised and somewhat disappointed.

Varilek knows the state fair debate is a big event, a big tradition and a chance for both parties to formally discuss what needs to be changed and what they plan to do about it.

He said this year is especially important between the drought conditions and important agricultural issues that people want to hear about.

He speculates the reasoning could be talk of the farm bill which has been stalled in Washington.

We sat down with the congresswoman, Thursday, who said she's beginning the busiest part of her campaign and she's taking each invitation to debate at their own merit.

"We're looking to make sure we do them with a fair and non-biased non-partisan organizations. We want to make sure people have the opportunity to see the candidates and see the debates and talk about our contrasting points of view," Rep. Kristi Noem said.

"It's disappointing for me but also for the people who have a chance to hear, face-to-face, from their elected members of congress. I was looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the important issues," Matt Varilek said. 09:34:15>

Varilek said, thought it won't be a debate, he still plans on attending the state fair. Congresswoman Noem is planning to attend a handful of other debates, including DakotaFest which will be held in Mitchell on August 22nd.

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