If his Sikeston, Mo., opponent hadn't accepted his offer by midnight Tuesday, Wallingford said, television ads of his own were scheduled to begin running today that refute Brandom's claims about him as well as again call into question Brandom's stance on stem-cell and cloning research.
"She really forced my hand," Wallingford said late Tuesday night. "Her ads are very negative. I've voted for Republicans since 1961 and now I'm being equated to Barack Obama. Quite frankly, that's offensive. I feel I have to do something."
Brandom did not return phone calls Tuesday night to her cellphone. Brandom's campaign manager, Dan Hutton, said after 10 p.m. that he had not heard of Wallingford's offer but said he would try to contact Brandom for answers. Hutton said a short time later he was unable to reach Brandom.
Wallingford, a Cape Girardeau Republican wrapping up his first term in the Missouri House, said he called Brandom shortly before noon Tuesday and suggested to Brandom that they should debate in each county of the 27th District, which is made up of the counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott and Wayne. As of almost 11 p.m., Wallingford said he had received no response.
Brandom's campaign began running campaign spots this week that attempt to tie Wallingford to unions because he accepted $1,100 in campaign contributions from organized labor. The ads also state that Wallingford has received endorsement from a union that also threw its weight behind the president, who is not popular in conservative Southeast Missouri.
"I have offered her the opportunity to withdraw her ads," Wallingford said. "But I am prepared to take it to a level that I would prefer not to. But if I do, there won't be any distortion like she's done. But I can't ignore the things she's said about me."