Press Release

Paulette Jordan Urges KTVB to Hold Debate with or without Senator Risch

By September 23, 2020 September 28th, 2020 No Comments

BOISE, IDAHO — U.S. Senate nominee Paulette Jordan urged KTVB to move forward with its pre-scheduled October 13 debate despite Republican Senator Jim Risch’s refusal to participate. 

In a letter sent Tuesday afternoon to KTVB, Jordan wrote:

While I realize incumbent Senator Jim Risch declined your invitation, that is not cause to let him off the hook and miss an opportunity to provide voters with an essential education on this important race. I’m deeply disappointed he refused to make himself accountable to Idaho voters, but canceling this event altogether is an acceptance of his belief that he, rather than the people who drive our democracy, can dictate this race. 

Senate and other statewide debates with single candidates and empty podiums are not without precedent. Just last week, Republican Senator Cory Gardner debated an empty podium in Grand Junction, Colorado. There are other recent and upcoming examples in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.

Senator Risch cannot get away with telling you that a pre-recorded event with another news outlet is a better platform for him to ‘publish his views.’ It’s unconscionable that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would allow his campaign to say something that outrageous, considering he should be a beacon for freedom of the press around the world. It’s a pathetic disgrace that he is setting such a bad example and embarrassing Idahoans in the process.  

I strongly urge you to reconsider. I will do my duty and show up on October 13. And you should leave an empty podium for the senator in the event he changes his mind.”

For a senator who professes to care about civil language, the lack of respect to voters in Idaho is stunning

We’re still wondering: Does Senator Risch even have a campaign? 

Last time there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Senator Risch told McClatchy, “The U.S. Supreme Court is very, very political, just like Congress is, just like the president of the United States,” and he added that a U.S. Supreme Court justice is an “architect of the culture of our country.” [LINK:, by Rob Hotakainen, 4/13/16]

Voters of this state deserve to hear directly from Senator Risch about what he meant and whether he stands by this incendiary assertion. 

In addition: 

  • When Risch last ran for re-election, he told the state’s biggest paper: “I really like this job. Governor will wear you down. You can’t do that job permanently. This you can do ad infinitum,” which may explain why he fell asleep in impeachment hearings last year and is not up for doing the real work Idahoans deserve.
  • Senator Risch is taking his constituents for granted and not respecting the democratic process, and it’s taking a massive toll on Idahoans. 

Paulette Jordan’s message is “People First Policy,” emphasizing health care, economic recovery, stewardship of land, and increased federal fiscal discipline and accountability.  She is endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List. More information about Jordan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate can be found at her website