His opponent was not present, but that didn’t stop Hank Linderman, the Democratic candidate for Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District seat, from engaging Wednesday in a debate of sorts with U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green.
A small crowd gathered at the Warren County Public Library’s Bob Kirby Branch, where Linderman spoke about issues ranging from health care to student debt to medical marijuana. Meanwhile, Stephanie Callen, Linderman’s campaign treasurer, stood in for Guthrie, providing what she perceived to be the incumbent’s positions on the same issues, based on Guthrie’s previous statements and voting record.
From behind a small table at the front of the room, Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Spano, currently best known for his recurring portrayal of T.C. Fornell on the longtime CBS television show “NCIS,” moderated the “debate.”
“The incumbent U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 2nd District, Brett Guthrie, though invited, has declined to attend, so his views on the questions we ask will be read from the public record,” Spano said.
Guthrie’s office confirmed Thursday that the congressman received an invitation to the debate and that he declined to participate.