Congressmen Ronnie Shows and Chip Pickering have agreed to debate the issues of their race for Congress in the new Third Congressional District on WTOK-TV. The debate is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct.23 at 9 p.m. It will be held in the Kahlmus Auditorium at
Mississippi State University in Meridian and will be broadcast live on Channel 11.
It will be only the second televised debate between the two. The other was in August at the Neshoba County Fair. That debate produced lively differences and vocal response from the supporters of each.
"The values of Mississippi stand with a conservative leader," said Pickering during the August debate. "That first vote that will determine the whole agenda." Shows responded. "I tell you whom I'm going to vote for," he said amid boos from the crowd. "I'm going to vote for the Democrat whose put up there. Go ahead and boo. Go ahead and boo. When your jobs gone, you must not be out of work." The issue of WorldCom donations to the Pickering campaign came up at the time and Pickering's refusal to return them.
"There's nothing wrong, I didn't say he did anything wrong," said Shows. "All I said morally you ought to be helping these folks.
"To be honest I'm surprised that Ronnie would want to make campaign contributions an issue," said Pickering. "He has taken more illegal contributions than any member of Congress in the Mississippi delegation."
In their Neshoba County Fair appearance, both candidates attempted to separate themselves and their core values from the other.
"I vote for my convictions," said Shows. "I vote what I think is right and I don't follow party line politics."
"I can stand with those who believe as we do and will fight for Mississippi," said Pickering.
The debate will be broadcast live Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. on WTOK-TV, Channel 11.