ATTLEBORO — State Rep. George Ross says he is too busy doing his job to debate his election rival Paul Heroux four times.
Heroux, the Democratic challenger, asked Ross to agree to one debate on general topics, and three more on specific issues — crime, the economy and values.
Ross, R-Attleboro, said he was rejecting the challenge and would agree to only one debate because he is hard at work.
“I’m a full-time legislator,” Ross said in declining more debates.
He said he intends to spend his time doing the job voters elected him to do and is concentrating on improving the economy.
The Legislature is out of session for the summer and fall, but Ross said he still has meetings at the Statehouse and issues to address.
Ross also said he would only participate in the one debate if Heroux kept the campaign clean. Ross has objected to Heroux’s criticism on some recent issues.
Heroux said it would be a service to the voters to hear the two candidates give their views in a series of debates.
He noted that the Republican candidates for president held 20 debates during the primaries and Republican Jeff Bailey has challenged state Sen. James Timilty to nine debates.
Ross, he said, should agree to the debates so he can explain some of his actions in office, such as claiming he got $349,000 in extra state aid for Attleboro.
“In reality, the Legislature voted to disburse the state surplus funds to cities and towns, and Attleboro’s amount is the result of a local aid formula, not something that Ross was able to influence,” Heroux said.