Cohen arrives for planned debate without opponent

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Congressman Steve Cohen arrived Sunday for a planned debate with former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

Both men are running for the 9th District Congressional seat.  They agreed last year to a debate on news station WREG.

Herenton later pulled out of the agreement, claiming the debate panelists were biased against him.

Herenton said he would agree to another debate, but Cohen refused to consider another debate.  He said it was not appropriate to move forums based on the wishes of either candidate.

Cohen fulfilled his promise by making a statement and taking questions at WREG.  He explained his reasons for following through.

"When people agree to a debate, they should keep their word," Cohen said.  "You should not quit.  I never quit."

Cohen also shared his thoughts on his opponent's behavior.

"I never know what he'll do," Cohen said.  "I never expected him to show up at my campaign headquarters while I was in Washington to call for me when I was in Washington doing the people's business.  I didn't expect him to have a press conference and say he really didn't give a damn about raped women, and dogs and cats and other animals."

Cohen said it is not a privilege to ask a Congressman a questions, it was that representative's responsibility and duty to respond.

Herenton had no comment Sunday.

The 9th District primary will be held August 5.

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