OLD BRIDGE, NJ – Saying that the citizens of the Sixth Congressional District deserve a frank discussion of the issues facing our country, today Brent Sonnek-Schmelz (R - Atlantic Highlands) publicly challenged his opponent, 28-year incumbent Frank Pallone, to two debates, calling on the incumbent to live up to his own words on the need for candidate debates. 

“Congressman Pallone should live up to his own words and debate me.  The people of the Sixth District deserve to hear him defend his failed policies and tell us why after 28 years in Congress, the loss of Fort Monmouth and the government corruption following Sandy, he deserves reelection,” said Sonnek-Schmelz.  “Pallone was chomping at the bit for debates when it would have benefited him politically during his failed U.S. Senate campaign. Failure by Mr. Pallone to agree to these debates would reveal him to not only be a hypocrite, but a brazen one at that.  I am hoping he exceeds my expectations and agrees to stand on a stage with me and contrast our competing visions for the country and our district face-to-face.” 

Challenger Sonnek-Schmelz released several quotes from Congressman Pallone where he advocated the benefits of more public and open discussions of the issues: 

“Democracy is based on the free exchange of ideas; debating issues to find a solution reasonable people can agree upon.” 

“It’s not fair to the voters, because they need to hear from us, and they need to have interaction between us so they can judge us and see where we stand on the issues and see what we’re going to do when we’re elected, and he’s (Cory Booker) just been absent from all the debates so far.”