JULY 4, 2006: BEREN AGAIN CHALLENGES MCDERMOTT TO DEBATE
On the July 4, 2006 at Seattle Center, about 500 people from 76 countries were sworn in as American citizens at a special public ceremony sponsored by the Ethnic Heritage Council. Both Congressman Jim McDermott and his Republican opponent, Steve Beren, were in attendance. McDermott was among the elected officials on the podium, along with the Mayor of Seattle, the Governor, and others.
During the course of the ceremony, the new citizens were urged to participate in the American political system by registering to vote and by voting on election day. Following the ceremony, both Beren and McDermott worked the crowd, shaking hands and congratulating the newest Americans.
Beren approached McDermott, and the two candidates shook hands. “Congressman, let’s give these new voters a series of great debates so they can make an informed choice,” Beren said. McDermott did not respond, so Beren pressed the issue. “It would be great for the voters,” he said.
In response, McDermott chuckled and said “why not?,” but it was not clear whether this was intended as an affirmative response. During the course of the 2006 campaign, Steve Beren and his campaign committee continued to challenge McDermott to agree to debate.
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