New Mexico: Tinsley Wants Multiple Town Halls With Foe

Posted July 16, 2008 at 6:27pm

Wealthy restaurateur Ed Tinsley (R) is challenging former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague (D) to a series of town hall debates as he seeks the advantage in their race for the open 2nd district seat.

Tinsley wants Teague, who is also personally wealthy, to debate him in every county in the district. The southern New Mexico 2nd district encompasses at least part, if not all, of 17 counties. Tinsley has offered to find a sponsor and handle the logistics for each debate.

“All Harry will have to do is show up,” Tinsley said in a statement.

In a statement provided to Roll Call by his campaign, Teague didn’t specifically accept or reject the offer, while pointing out that he’s agreed to several debates with Tinsley. Teague also needled Tinsley about his second home in Santa Fe.

Tinsley’s primary residence is his ranch in the 2nd district, and he lives there the majority of the time. But Tinsley has acknowledged that he also spends a considerable amount of time at his home in Santa Fe, which is located in the 3rd district.

“I’m eager to debate Ed Tinsley. We’ve already agreed to several debates and forums and expect to appear at several more. And because Ed lives in Santa Fe, I’d be happy to show him around Southern New Mexico,” Teague said.

Tinsley and Teague are running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Steve Pearce (R), who is running for Senate. The 2nd district has a majority of enrolled Democrats, but it is considered solid conservative territory because the voters there tend to support Republican policies.