Bob Thomas Posts Debate Plea On Billboard

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Third District Congressional Candidate Bob Thomas has been pressing Republican Incumbent Mark Souder for a commitment to a public debate.

Now, he’s turning up the heat on that request, by way of a billboard message.

The successful car dealer has said on several occasions the voters of the Third District are entitled to hear the views of the candidates vetted in a public forum.

Now, Thomas is really taking Souder to task over his reluctance to do that.

The billboard perched near the intersection of Main Street and Leesburg Road on the near west side reads, "Why is Souder Afraid to Debate?"

Thomas says he has printed several copies of the sign, and is still determining whether to post any more of them before Tuesday's primary election.

The question was posed to Thomas Wednesday, would he be willing to debate the other two GOP challengers, Greg Dickman and Phil Troyer, without Souder being present?

Bob Thomas/(R) 3rd District Congressional Candidate: " If the other two candidates want to come, that's fine, I have no problems, but the important person to be on that podium is the representative from District three in Indiana and he needs to defend his record. He needs to give people a vision of where he thinks we're going and he needs to discuss the issues."

A message left with a representative of Congressman Souder seeking comment on this story was not returned by late Wednesday.

The big question plaguing Thomas throughout the campaign…whether he’s prepared to represent district voters when he has lived most of the past 30 years just outside Indianapolis.

He rented a Fort Wayne apartment back in March leading up to the primary.

When asked if he intends to vote Tuesday, he responded “yes”, saying he now considers Fort Wayne his permanent home.

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