[Fox Crossing, WI] – In response to recent misstatements by his opponent and her supporters, Andrew Thomsen stood up to the lies and misinformation.

Andrew Thomsen did not decline the offer to debate his opponent sponsored by the Fox Valley Initiative (FVI). After initially requesting a non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement to ensure the debate focused on the issues and did not devolve into personal attacks and mudslinging, Thomsen rescinded his request after Ed Perkins of the FVI expressed concern over the agreements.  Instead, Thomsen merely sought clear, written rules so that the debate would focus on the issues affecting voters in the Fox Valley.

Specifically, Thomsen wrote an email to Perkins stating, "Just so I am clear, you will not be providing any structure for the debate and are proceeding without me? I can understand why you may not want to have an NDA but to not have any structure is a bit absurd. I am willing to debate my opponent but there has to be rules.”

Rather than responding to Thomsen's request, Perkins officially stated that the debate would not occur six days after Thomsen rescinded his request.  In his statement, Perkins blamed Thomsen for requesting the non-disclosure and non- disparagement agreements as the cause for the lack of a debate, despite Thomsen's rescission.  Although he quoted Thomsen's initial request, Perkins failed to include Thomsen's July 20 email.  Tellingly, when pressed by a local community member about the situation, Perkins admitted that if Thomsen had rescinded his requests and simply asked for written rules, the debate would have proceeded—exactly what Thomsen did.  Yet Perkins still cancelled the debate.

Apparently in an attempt to justify his mistake, Perkins then followed up his admission with a statement to a reporter.  In this statement, Perkins claims that Thomsen has done "a 180-degree turn" because he claims that rules have always been in place.  This is simply false.  As Thomsen stated in his July 14 email, "As a follow up to our discussion yesterday, I need a formalized set of rules for the debate that both parties can sign off on."  Clearly, rules were not established at any point.  Despite numerous attempts to receive written rules, no rules have ever been provided, and Perkins can point to no time or specific rule that was ever proposed or agreed to.

Even though both Thomsen and his opponent agreed to debate, Perkins claims that it's simply too late for a debate to proceed.  This is a familiar excuse from those in the Madison swamp.  Despite this oft-cited excuse, Thomsen agreed to accommodate a change of date because he wants to debate his opponent. "It appears that Perkins and my opponent are trying to run out the clock on the debate," Thomsen said.  "My opponent has a history of running the clock out on debates and appearing before only those who are firmly voting for her before she will debate.  I have always been willing to debate before any organization, but my opponent only wants to debate before her supporters that continue to publish her misinformation and lies."

Thomsen's opponent (no doubt spurred on by Perkins—one of her top-10 donors) released a statement that "Andy Thomsen is clearly afraid to debate in front of Republican voters and activists."  Thomsen responded, "I will debate my opponent at any time on the issues.  Despite her promise to run a clean campaign, she resorts to attacks on me.  It is telling that my opponent continues to peddle lies and misinformation about my supposed ties to special interests while she receives thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of support from outside, special interests like the Democrat- supporting renewable energy lobby and the marijuana lobby.  My opponent can continue her mudslinging, but I have more respect for the voters of the Fox Valley.  Unlike my opponent who plainly lied about running a clean campaign, I am a man of my word—I committed to an issue-focused clean campaign, and I will continue my issue-focused clean campaign."

Thomsen concluded, "The voters deserve to hear from their candidates on the issues.  I was willing to debate my opponent before the League of Women Voters.  I was willing to debate my opponent before FVI.  And I am willing to debate my opponent anytime, anywhere."

A forum has been called for August 4, 2022, at Northland Pub and Grill in Appleton, for the candidates to debate the issues that matter to the Fox Valley.  Thomsen will be there, ready to answer any questions.  Will his opponent finally appear in a debate that isn't run by her major donor?  Will she be able to discuss the issues and avoid mudslinging? Come to Northland Pub and Grill and find out.

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