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Request over debate dates fuels social media firestorm in Third District race

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — Democrat Candidate Courtney Tritch is responding to remarks made Monday, by Republican Congressman Jim Banks.

"I’m just shocked that after asking him to debate the issues, he would come back with such a personal attack," Tritch says.

After a press conference where she challenged her opponent to a series of debates, Banks told Fort Wayne’s NBC News he was looking forward to future debates, but he wasn’t in a hurry to schedule any. Then he said this:

"Unlike my opponent I have a job and I have a family," said Banks, Monday.  "There are other commitments that I have also in addition to running for Congress."

Tuesday afternoon, Tritch took her frustrations to social media, writing a public letter on Facebook. So far it has nearly 900 reactions. 

She writes, "Did he really imply that because I do not have children that I am somehow "less than"? Is he basically telling me to get back in the kitchen where I belong?"

Banks responded to her letter Tuesday. 

He wrote in a statement to Fort Wayne’s NBC News:

Ms. Tritch is desperate to change the subject from her very liberal and pro-abortion views and is twisting my comments yesterday to disparage my character. Our response was simple and clear: I have priorities other than campaign politics. Specifically, my job as representative for the Third District and my family.

I will stay focused on my duty as congressman and look forward to debating Ms. Tritch on important policy issues closer to Election Day.

But, Tritch says she’s looking for an apology from the Congressman, not just to her, but to all of the women in his district.

"I have met so many young women on the trail," she says. "I knew that when he attacked me like that, I couldn’t stay silent, because I definitely needed to be an example for them."

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