Incumbent Garland County Judge, Rick Davis, and Independent Conservative County Judge Candidate, Clay Herrmann, both spoke at a candidate forum hosted by the Hot Springs LGBT Alliance on October 9, 2016. The invitation to participate in the forum was extended to all local candidates in contested races, and was moderated by former Garland County Election Commissioner, Alan Clark.
The participation by Davis was in contrast to his unwillingness to participate in a debate between the two Garland County Judge candidates proposed by the Chairman of the Garland County TEA Party, Dr. Jack Sternberg.
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2016 10:47 AM
Dear Judge Davis:
At our Tea Party meeting yesterday, we discussed the Vice Presidential debate and how the moderator refused to control the debate and allowed each candidate to interrupt the other and also not answer the questions that she asked.
At the end of the meeting, Clay Herrmann, your opponent, challenged me to invite you and him to a real, one-on-one debate in front of the Tea Party. That I would moderate and ask the questions. I would not allow each candidate to be interrupted by the other and lastly, that each candidate would answer the questions asked or be confronted and chastised for their avoidance of answering a direct question.
If you are agreeable, then we could schedule it for November 2nd, giving both sides plenty of time to prepare.
Please let me know if you’re willing to accept the challenge.
According to the email time-stamps, Davis replied only 11 minutes later as follows:
Date: Thu, October 06, 2016 10:58 am
I appreciate the invitation but will not be able to attend due to other commitments. I know people do not understand but my calendar is booked up months in advance. My focus is still on doing the job the people elected me to do and campaigning has to come second.
Judge Rick Davis
Video of the full 2016 General Election Hot Springs LGBT Alliance Candidate Forum is available below: