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City Club debate set between candidates for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District

October 11, 2018

City Club debate set between candidates for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A debate has been set between Anthony Gonzalez and Susan Moran Palmer, the two first-time candidates running to represent Ohio’s 16th Congressional District.

Gonzalez, a Republican and Palmer, a Democrat will debate at the City Club of Cleveland at 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, according to information that was published on the City Club website on Thursday. A City Club deadline to schedule the event passed on Wednesday.

Gonzalez, who has been cautious about appearing publicly with Palmer, said during a joint appearance two weeks ago before the editorial board for cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer that he would have “no problem” debating his opponent.

Palmer, meanwhile, has called for Gonzalez to hold six debates with her — one in each of the six counties that make up the 16th District. Gonzalez has not taken her up on the offer.

Haggling over the location, frequency and date of debates is a common component of the push and pull of political races. Generally, trailing candidates call for as many debates as possible to help attract attention and in hopes their opponents will make an embarrassing mistake. Favored candidates tend to try to strategically minimize debates for the opposite reason.

Gonzalez, a former NFL player, is believed to have a strong lead in his race, thanks in large part to an outsize fundraising advantage over his opponent, as well as the district’s Republican-friendly territory. Meanwhile Palmer, who quit her job in medical-device sales to focus on her campaign earlier this year, has struggled to attract attention to after she reported raising a total of just $76,000 as of July, the most recent federal campaign finance deadline. For context, the average congressional campaign in 2016 cost $1.5 million, according to the Huffington Post

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The oddly-shaped 16th District is a mix of Cleveland, Akron and Canton suburbs, some of Medina County and all of Wayne County. The district is currently represented by Wadsworth Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running for Senate instead of seeking re-election.

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