EDITORIAL: Congressmen Bucshon Made Mistake By Not Debating His Opponent


The Republican voters of the 8th Congressional District are going to have quite a decision to make in the May 8th primary election. They will be choosing between the incumbent Congressman Dr. Larry Buschon and his fellow physician, political newcomer Dr. Richard Moss. Dr. Buschon survived a challenge from the Club For Growth’s funding and Christy Risk in 2014.

This year, it appears that Dr. Buschon enjoys the backing of his party’s establishment. That should make for an easier re-election bid, but Dr. Moss is launching a strong effort to unseat him. Dr. Moss has challenged Dr. Buschon to a public debate, but the incumbent has refused to participate. We think that Dr. Buschon declined the challenge because of the conventional belief he has nothing to gain and everything to lose by debating. The power of the incumbency is on Buschon’s side. The voters know who he is and what his stances are. The challenger is not well know, especially in the more populous parts of the district. He lives and practices in Jasper, while Dr. Buschon practiced in Evansville and lives in Warrick County.

Both candidates have a great deal in common, both personally and politically. They share a common profession and strong conservative ideals. A debate between the two would have been an effective way for Republicans to distinguish between them. We believe that Dr. Buschon’s refusal to debate may have made this into a referendum on just how strongly voters really feel about getting rid of the Washington “establishment.” We will see if the GOP electorate in this area truly wants to change Washington, as this is boiling down to a choice between the status quo candidate and a “fresh face” in the capitol. It may be that Dr. Buschon made a mistake by following the conventional wisdom of not debating in this most unconventional primary. Failing to set himself apart may well prove to be a mistake that is fatal to his political career. If Dr. Moss presents himself to the voters as a political outsider running against the “establishment” we expect that he will do well in the approaching pri.mary.

We invite both candidates to tell us what sets them apart from their opponent. We will share their unedited replies with our readers.


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