Jordan wants debate with Tarleton
by Anna Oakes
N.C. Rep. Jonathan Jordan of Jefferson, a Republican, would
like to debate his opponent for the District 93 House of Representatives seat, Democrat
Cullie Tarleton, in person, he said via his campaign’s Facebook page Sept. 28.
“If any of you know of an organization that would be willing
to sponsor a debate between us, please encourage them to do so and let me know,”
Jordan said. “I would prefer to debate the issues with him face to face in
both Ashe and Watauga counties.”
Jordan said many people have asked him about “misinformation
being spread by my opponent” in Tarleton’s campaign ads “claiming that 3,000
teachers have been fired.”
“The truth will be coming out, but I would really prefer to
address him face to face in debates. Voters deserve better than false
allegations and the dishonest, negative ads he is running,” his Facebook
Tarleton said he has not been contacted by Jordan’s camp about
a possible debate and that he wouldn’t be open to one, stating that three or
four candidate forums are already scheduled this month.
“I think that’s quite enough,” he said. “One of them — the
one that’s on campus at ASU — will be sort of a combination forum/debate in
that the candidates will have an opportunity to directly exchange thoughts and
Tarleton represented District 93 in the House for two terms
before losing his re-election bid to Jordan in 2010.
In one television commercial, Tarleton said the “Cullie
Tarleton Plan” includes plans to “invest in education, don’t cut it, and hire
back the 3,000 fired teachers.” Tarleton said the figure comes from the N.C.
Democratic Party’s House Caucus staff.
According to information from the N.C. Department of Public
Instruction, 1,794 teachers and assistants were laid off in the 2011-12
academic year (534 teachers and 1,260 assistants).
However, those figures come from a survey of school districts last conducted in August 2011, so it does not reflect teachers or assistants who may have lost their jobs since last fall, said Sara Clark, DPI communications specialist.
On June 27, N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis discussed
education appropriations during a press conference on the General Assembly’s 2012-13
budget adjustment bill.
“There’s probably the equivalent of about 3,000 jobs that
may be affected, but it really depends upon the decisions that are going to be
made by the superintendents exactly how these resources get deployed,” Tillis
“It strikes me as a little odd … that two years ago when (Jordan) and his supporters dropped at least 26 of the nastiest, vilest, untrue mailers against me that now we sort of find the shoe on the other foot in terms of him being subject to criticism for votes he made,” Tarleton said. “Those are hard figures. We aren’t dispensing false information.”