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Debbie Wasserman Schultz again not saying if she’ll debate Tim Canova

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Appearing on MSNBC with Steve Kornacki on Wednesday afternoon, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz refused to once again acknowledge whether or not she would engage in a debate with her Democratic congressional opponent, Tim Canova.

“I’m focused on two things,” she said when Kornacki initially brought up Canova’s campaign. “One, continuing to serve my constituents that have given me the privilege of representing them to the best of my ability, and making sure that when I run for re-election — as I am right now — I talk about what I’ve been able to do for them earning their support once again. And two, making sure that we do everything we can to elect a Democratic president. Those are my responsibilities and that’s what I’m focused on.”

“Let me ask you here: will you debate your primary opponent before the August primary?” Kornacki queried.

“Steve, I’m focused on the two things that I just said,” she said before repeating herself.

“I’m here to speak to you as the DNC chair,” she said. “So I’m happy to talk to you about the presidential question, which is why I’m here, and I’ve answered your questions.”

No, you actually haven’t answered this one, Kornacki replied.

“Again, Steve, I’m gonna continue to focus on representing my constituents to the best of my ability, doing the good job that I’ve been able to do representing them for the last 24 years, and making sure that when I run for re-election they know the work that I’ve been able to do in earning their support once again,” she said. “And making sure that as DNC chair, I help do everything we can to elect a Democratic president.”

Canova told the Broward/Palm Beach New Times last month that he has written three times to the Democratic incumbent about holding a debate before the Aug. 30 primary.

Canova announced earlier this week that he has raised more than $1 million against Wasserman Schultz in the race for the CD 23 seat.

Watch the exchange below:

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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