A challenger to a state senator who represents part of Johnson County hopes to host public debates before this year’s fall election.
Democrat Andy Talarzyk, a resident of New Whiteland and marketer for a paint distributor, asked State Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, to debate in four communities in the district — Columbus, Edinburgh, Franklin and Greenwood — prior to the Nov. 4 general election.
Walker said he does not plan to create a debate schedule. He always is ready to hear from residents and doesn’t think the debates are necessary, he said.
“My cellphone number runs in the paper at least twice a week, and I feel as though I am open and acceptable to anyone to discuss any issue they want to talk about,” Walker said.
Talarzyk said he wanted to host the debates to give voters a better understanding of both candidates’ political platforms and opinions.
“During the summer, I’ve been talking to the people in the district, and they don’t seem to know much about myself or about Senator Walker, what he stands for and his policies,” Talarzyk said. “I think it would be beneficial for us to discuss the issues with the public.
“I believe that debates are an important part of any campaign.”
If the debates don’t happen, Talarzyk hopes to host meetings in the district, where he would speak with voters and answer questions.