Candidates in the District 10 Congressional race have already been taking swings at each other through social media, but come this weekend, voters will have the chance to watch them face off on the issues.
The Turlock Journal and Ceres Courier – sister papers to The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News – are hosting a District 10 Congressional debate on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The race between incumbent Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and his Democratic challenger Josh Harder, also from Turlock, has grown contentious. The high-profile race was targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as part of their campaign to flip Republican-controlled districts over to Democrats, and following Harder’s victory in the primary, Denham will defend his incumbency against the blue wave for the fourth straight election.
Harder came out of the primary swinging at Denham, saying: “I think what we saw … was a wholesale rejection of Jeff Denham … I mean, when 62 percent of voters vote for somebody else, that’s a terrifying sign if you’re him.”
Harder has also attacked Denham for his party loyalty.
“A consistent theme came up I’d like to underscore: Denham has been a career politician for decades now, and yet he continues to say one thing while he goes back to Washington and does another. We haven’t seen progress on water, on immigration, or on creating new job opportunities for our community because Denham has been unwilling, time and time again, to stand up to his party leaders,” said Harder in an early August interview.
Denham is no stranger to warding off Democrat attacks, firing right back at Harder since winning the primary in June. The Congressman started a #BayAreaHarder campaign on Twitter saying that his challenger “doesn’t represent our district’s values. Our district wants Immigration Reform that includes Border Security. @joshua_harder wants open borders. It’s because he is with the Progressive Left & Silicon Valley over the Central Valley & #CA10. Actions > Rhetoric.”
Denham has also called Harder “an outsourcing profiteer” and no friend to farmers for failing to attend a recent water rally at the California State Capitol.
“Josh Harder’s failure to attend and fight the state water grab or meet with local ag leaders shows he’s not fit to represent the Central Valley,” said Denham in an Aug. 21 statement.
The two have also fought over debating. After not being able to agree on details of a debate format for months, the two District 10 candidates finally came to terms on a video livestreamed debate hosted by the Modesto Bee and the ticketed event hosted by the Turlock Journal.
The Journal’s District 10 Congressional candidate debate will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Carnegie Arts Center. A lottery was held for the limited number of tickets available. For those that did not get drawn in the lottery to attend the event, the debate can also be viewed live at youtube.com/turlockjournal.