Contact: Josh Whitfield (209) 985-1784


Harder Campaign Rejects Compromise Offer on Ticketing Issue

MODESTO, CA – Congressman Jeff Denham announced today that he would attend the public debates at The House Church in Modesto and with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau whether Harder attends or not. He also remains committed to finding a way to make the third debate in Spanish at the Saint Frances of Rome parish in Riverbank.

“I am very disappointed Mr. Harder doesn’t seem serious about debates. He has called for debates multiple times on social media and it appears he won’t live up to his word. Unlike Mr. Harder, I respect and understand the importance of organizations like The House, the Saint Frances of Rome Parish and the Farm Bureau as key stakeholders in our district. It’s troubling that Mr. Harder doesn’t seem to respect or understand that,” said Jeff Denham.

In a meeting between the two campaigns and Father Avila, the Priest in charge of the St. Frances of Rome Parish in Riverbank CA, the Denham Campaign offered a compromise on the ticketing issue that has been the primary roadblock to holding up the debates. Denham Campaign Manager Josh Whitfield offered that the host sites could control 1/3 of the tickets and each campaign hold 1/3 of the tickets, to get passed the issue. Harder’s Campaign has since rejected that compromise, and the Harder campaign failed to show up, without explanation, to a follow-up meeting between all parties in Riverbank.

“I think it is obvious at this point, Josh Harder has no intention of debating the Congressman in an open, fair and equitable environment,” said Josh Whitfield. The Harder campaigns notion that the two debates we have accepted, and a possible third with Father Avila’s parish in Spanish, would not be open to the public is just absolute nonsense.  The media has been invited. There is limited seating at any venue. Frankly, what we have asked for is reasonable and common-sense stuff. Once the seats are full, live stream and television can provide viewing for anyone else. The reality is they want to continue to bus in activists from the Bay Area and turn this into a circus. If the Harder campaign wants to use their invites for those people, they are certainly welcome, it’ll just be at the expense of hard-working Valley citizens.”

Congressman Denham has accepted an invitation to hold a debate at The House Church in Modesto, CA on 8/14/2018 and with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau on 8/20/2018. To the Denham Campaigns knowledge, the Harder campaign has yet to agree to any of the debates as of 7/31/2018.

On that point, Congressman Denham said, “I am going to show up to these debates with or without Mr. Harder. He has been calling for debates, here’s his opportunity.”

However, the Denham Campaign stressed that as the challenger, and because his campaign has failed to compromise on anything at all, Mr. Harder would not get to dictate the entire debate field. The Denham Campaign will not feel compelled entertain any other debates if Mr. Harder fails to show up to key stakeholders like The House and the Farm Bureau or continues to avoid discussion of a debate in Spanish.

“I have already come over half way in good faith on terms to try and make this happen. It’s time for Mr. Harder to accept these debates and let the voters hear us out,” added Jeff Denham.

The Denham Campaign pointed out that Mr. Harder continues to balk at debates with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau and The House Church in Modesto.

“I understand why Mr. Harder doesn’t want to debate in front of farmers and ranchers,” said Josh Whitfield. “With Harder defending his party’s reckless attempt to steal our local water, the California Democrats continued war on dairy and cattle ranchers, and his absolute zero agricultural experience in a district whose entire economy depends on our agricultural industry, he truly has a tough sell to make. The voters of CD10 deserve to hear Mr. Harder and Congressman Denham on these and other important issues.”

In addition to the debates proposed above. Congressman Denham has accepted candidate forums with the Latino Community Roundtable and with the Modesto Rotary Club.


For more information, contact Josh Whitfield at (209)-985-1784

Election day is November 6th, 2018. You can learn more about Congressman Jeff Denham and his campaign by visiting