The Buzz

June 16, 2014

Sally Atwater declines ETV debate before superintendent of education runoff

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

One of the two Republicans still vying for the party's nomination for superintendent of education declined an invitation to debate before the June 24 runoff.

Sally Atwater of Charleston, turned down the second debate hosted by ETV because she already appeared once, said Atwater's campaign spokesman Luke Byars. The debate she appeared on was before the primary when eight Republicans were vying to be the superintendent of education. It can be viewed by clicking here.

Molly Spearman of Saluda, accepted the request for a TV debate, her campaign said. Spearman received the most votes in the primary with 64,758 votes. Atwater received 63,387 votes.

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Another reason Atwater will not debate is because she appeared at local Republican forums, Byars said.

“The vast majority of Republicans all over the state have seen us,” he said.

But, Molly Spearman's campaign said Atwater's refusal to debate was political.

“We hope Ms. Atwater changes her mind, but given her debate performance in the primary and her recent radio interview on WORD-FM, we can understand why she has made this political calculation,” Spearman's campaign spokesman Ryan Lambert said in a news release.

The interview Lambert was referring to can be listened to by clicking here.

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